It’s finally Spring (we hope) and our February and March Programs have been rescheduled. Please see the 2014 tab for details.

At our April meeting Harry Reed shared lots of information about the native plants represented in the Park and surrounding areas. Also, under Harry’s leadership, we will continue our visitor center landscaping on Saturday, April 26 at 10 AM.


“Native plants that grow beneath the canopy are a sight to behold.” You will agree with one of our own, Jackie Bailey Labovitz, as she shows her stunning photographs taken in our Park’s UNDERSTORY at the Friends May meeting. Jackie’s photographs are taken in natural light and printed on canvas in the tradition of fine paintings. Many grace the cabins at the Park and you can see, and purchase, them at this meeting.

Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

Jackie’s UNDERSTORY premiered in 2010 at the Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History, Naturalist Center and has been winning awards at major exhibitions ever since. In 2013 Louis Jacobson, of Washington City Paper, named UNDERSTORY to the Top 10 Best Photography Exhibitions in Washington D.C.  You can check out Jackie’s talented career and work at www.baileylabovitz.com and see the story of UNDERSTORY at http://youtu.be/aeltRDhSv1E.

Please join us at 7 PM on Tuesday, May 6 at the Park visitor’s center.




On Saturday, April 12 at 9 AM arborist and Front Royal Tree Steward David Means will talk about proper, and safe, tree pruning methods. Meet in the Park between shelters 2 and 3. David will also help ubranchoncar2s put those methods to work on neglected trees around the parking lots. Great program for all DIYers. Suggestion – don’t park under the trees. All are welcome. It will be a help if you can bring your safety gear and pruning tools – see the 2014 tab.


The Friends had a great start for 2014! Our members and guests hiked the Overlook Trail – a beautiful day and great fun.

2014 First Day Hikers

2014 First Day Hikers


At our October monthly meeting Chris Anderson, Executive Director of the White House Farm Foundation in Luray, spoke to us about early settlement along the Shenandoah River in Page County.

Chris brought to us her great passion for local history – some of her thoughts:

“With the discovery of gaps over the mountains, the Valley posed vulnerabilities to the English colonies to the east, and settlements were encouraged as a buffer.  The Kauffman family who built the “White House” in Page County were among the first wave of settlers encouraged to move into the Valley, build homes and begin farming. They constructed their residence and Mennonite meeting house in an architectural style typical of German/Swiss settlers with a simple floor plan and vaulted cellar. The White House is one of six remaining “fortified dwellings” on the banks of the Shenandoah River and was constructed in 1760. The river has played a significant role in the history of the Page Valley, for both Native Americans and European settlers and continues to be a treasured resource today.” 

Learn more about the work of the Foundation and Page County at whfarmfoundation.org 

PatchShenandoah River State Park’s 2013 Junior Ranger Day Camp for children 7 – 12 years was a blast! On Monday, this years campers greatly enjoyed the Park’s new archery course. Pre-teens are amazingly good at Sherwood Forest activities. We also made paleoindian clay pots. Tuesday we  led a Leave no Trace program with emphasize on outdoor ethics with signs and hiking staves.  A tube float on the River will got campers wet and close to what is down there, with the help of the Friends of the North Fork and their Educational Director, Cindy Frenzel. Birds rounded out the week – eating habits, nests, and bird calls All activities are designed to heighten a child’s awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural environment. Each camper became a Shenandoah River State Park Junior Ranger.

Each year camp is limited to 15 per week and pre-registration is required. There is a $10 fee. Look for information about the 2014 camp in May of next year.

Junior Ranger Day Camp is sponsored by the Friends. The Friends also sponsor a self-guided Junior Ranger program for children and their parents.

For more information on either program call the Park, 540-622-6840, or write Shenandoah River State Park, 350 Daughter of Stars Drive, Bentonville, VA 22610, attention Junior Ranger.


The July Friends meeting featured our very own Park Manager, Tony Widmer. One of Tony’s favorite hobbies is fishing – frTony fishing2om Ohio to Maine to Virginia – and anywhere else he can find time to get to. Just ask any Friend about Tony’s fabulous fried perch!

On July 2nd Tony combined his love of fishing with his knowledge of the fish of the South Fork – identification, diet, habits, etc. He also shared the latest on Shenandoah River water quality and the wonderful recovery of its fish population.



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