The Friends have a new display at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal which highlights the many opportunities for fun and adventure at the Park. Lots of pictures and neat stuff. The display will be up through March – drop in and see the Park (and maybe yourself). And don’t forget to join us for a look at the stars on March 10, 7PM at the visitors center.
In March Shenandoah Astronomical Society members presented an outstanding program on identifying some major constellations and stars. We heard about the Society and its activities, including the frequent star gazing nights in our Park – check the Park schedule or the Society web page for dates. The Society serves the northern Shenandoah Valley promoting astronomy as an educational and recreational activity and has activities at many Valley locations – shenandoahastronomical.org
What happens on a beautiful, crisp January 1? Nearly 100 old and new friends join to hike our gorgeous park.
There was a family from Massachusetts, a young woman from California, and lots of folks from near and far Virginia. Many said they would be back – not just next year but often to enjoy the park year round. Please join us any time.
At the Friends October meeting George Mason University students Ashley Palmer and Mimi Fuerst gave a great presentation about their semester at the Smithsonian- Mason Conservation Studies Program and their internships at the Park. Students today have many opportunities to get out of the classroom and to have hands-on experience in their study areas. Ashley and Mimi help Park staff with conservation and educational programs – what better place than our beautiful 1600 acres?
The collaboration between GMU and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) at Front Royal immerses students in an active research community, where they live and work side-by-side with scientists and scholars from both the Smithsonian and the University. The program was established by SCBI and GMU to aid the Smithsonian’s global effort to conserve species and to train future generations of conservationists. Learn more at http://smconservation.gmu.edu/programs/undergraduate/
On Sunday, September 21 over 30 energetic Friends and friends of the river – some from as far away as Arlington and McLean – spent several hours hauling trash out of the South Fork of the Shenandoah adjacent to the Park. Tires, soda and beer cans and bottles, construction material, a camera, a bed frame, and lots of other stuff were removed. The Friends thank all the great folks who turned out to help the environment and Downriver and Front Royal Canoe companies for providing our boats.
It was a beautiful day!
Activities for 2014 included a look at our weather with meteorologist Kemp Miller, a trip to historic White House Farm in Page County, river discovery with a tube trip on the South Fork, and a look at the trees in the Park with Carrie Blair. Activities are designed to enhance a child’s awareness of, and appreciation for, the natural environment.
Junior Ranger Day Camp is sponsored by the Friends. The camp runs Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to noon and is generally held the last week in July and the first week in August. Watch for 2015 dates. 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.
At the Friends June meeting we had a presentation by Katherine Rindt on several local hikes that are family friendly.
Katherine discussed seven hikes ranging from one to eight miles. Exploring a variety of terrain and spectacular views along the Blue Ridge, these loop hikes are all doable by beginners, although Katherine pointed out that a couple are somewhat difficult. Katherine shared pictures, maps, directions, and tips for a safe hike.
Check out the hikes here. Hikes
Katherine has been a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club since 1991, becoming involved in trail maintenance while supporting her husband in his 1996 thru-hike. They are currently the overseers for AT sections in Thompson Wildlife Management Area and Shenandoah National Park. Katherine represents the Appalachian Trail Conference on the Front Royal Appalachian Trail Community Committee.