Walk Along Middle River—A Chesapeake Bay Awareness Event
Walk Along Middle River in Swoope—June 4, 10 ’till noon
Come walk along the Middle River with Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger and ninth-generation farmer Jeanne Trimble Hoffman on her farm in Swoope, Virginia. Middle River is a tributary of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River—headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. Her farm is the site of this year’s Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week celebration in the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District.
The event will take place on June 4, at 10 am. The farm is located near the intersection of Trimbles Mill Road and Boy Scout Lane in Augusta County, Virginia.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
RSVP soon. Space is limited to 75.
This Middle River Riparian Buffer is Famous
The riparian buffer along this section of Middle River is now fifteen years old with many native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Ms. Hoffman enrolled in two USDA Conservation Reserve Program contracts that ended last year. She is now enrolled in Virginia’s Continuing Conservation Initiative. Learn more about this innovative program at the event.
Groundbreaking research has been conducted on this farm. One, conducted by the University of William & Mary, involved the biomagnification of mercury up the food chain. This research was part of the South River/South Fork Shenandoah River Natural Resources Damage Assessment Plan that led to the largest natural resource damage settlement in Virginia history.
Another research project on the farm was conducted by Virginia Working Landscapes on biodiversity. Citizen scientists cataloged forty-seven species of birds, eight of which are species of regional or continental concern. They also logged eight bumblebee and six butterfly species. The full report is posted here.
Riparian Buffers Reduce Pollution
Volunteers with The Friends of Middle River have been monitoring E. coli in the river and its tributaries for four years! The riparian buffers on this farm help reduce E. coli in the river, on average by 55%. Riparian buffers are a vital practice to achieve a restored Chesapeake Bay.
After a welcome by hosts Jeanne Hoffman and Bobby Whitescarver, Ann Swanson, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission will say a few words and introduce our very own, Shenandoah Valley, environmental award-winning senator, Emmett Hanger.
Dr. Amy Johnson, Director of Virginia Working Landscapes will discuss the importance of riparian buffers and biodiversity.
Patricia Nylander, Senior Forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry will give an update on the Emerald Ash Borer—an invasive, non-native, destructive insect.
Jonathan Dawes with Chesapeake Commons will discuss a ground-breaking BMP tracker program. Representatives from Friends of Middle River, Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will be on hand to discuss buffers and Best Management Practices.
Participants are free to bring a lunch and walk along the river and pastures.
Here is the flyer for the event. Feel free to download and share.
Contact me for more information and please, rsvp to email@example.com if you would like to attend. I hope to see you there.