When the English settled Jamestown in 1607, Indigenous had been in Virginia for 500 generations and at least 15,000 years. For roughly 13,000 of these years, these cultures practiced a way of life based on hunting and gathering. Come travel back in time to begin understanding the heritage of our valley. Join the Friends of Samuels Public Library and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network for this special presentation. Dr. Carole Nash, Associate Professor, School of Integrated Sciences, James Madison University will share with us her research and insights into the history of Native American Communities of the Shenandoah Valley.
For more information, please call: (540) 635-3153, ext. 105
The Shenandoah River and its Valley have long been regarded as among the most beautiful and majestic natural features of America. But for many reasons, the river has suffered over the last few decades. Fish kills and algal outbreaks, associated with manure from unfenced herds of cattle and large poultry operations, make the river unhealthy and unpleasant for those hoping to enjoy it. And so Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, is launching the Respect the Shenandoah Campaign. Join us to learn what you can do!
VIRTUAL PROGRAM: WINTER BIRD IDENTIFICATION AND FEEDING
WHEN: Saturday, January 16, 2021 10:00 AM
During this presentation, you will be introduced to the different types of birds that spend the winter in the Shenandoah Valley. Tips will be presented on how to identify common bird species along with advice on how to attract feathered friends to your backyard. This presentation is co-sponsored by the Friends of Samuels Public Library and Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society.
VIRTUAL PROGRAM: HIKING THROUGH WINTER WONDERLANDS WHEN: Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:30 pm
The Friends of the Samuels Public Library hosts a special program showcasing the beauty and advantages of winter hiking. Susan Tschirhart will present tips on how to plan your winter hikes, including a description of winter hiking gear and essential safety items that should be carried. Also, they will cover monitoring weather conditions, checking trail reports, and being prepared for medical emergencies.
Due to current Covid-19 restrictions limiting gatherings to 25 people or less, there will not be a guided 1st day hike this year.
But don’t let that stop you; create your own first day hike. The park has over 24 miles of trails to spread out on. Take it easy on Bluebell or Overlook trail, or challenge yourself and try the Bear Bottom Loop or Allen’s Mountain.
The parking fee is waived on January 1. Don’t forget to bring your mask and practice social distancing.
These unprecedented times have impacted us all in different ways and it is no different for the staff at Shenandoah River State Park. So, when the river recently flooded the canal located near the brown cabin trapping some river carp, the park staff jumped into action and planned the “COVID-19 Park Employees Carp Challenge”, which took place on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.
As a morale booster for the team: the catch and release challenge was simple – no rules – just catch the biggest carp. When it was all said and done – the staff caught 1 carp, 7 crappie, 4 bullhead catfish, 8 bluegills and several trees and rocks. Afterwards employees had a socially-distant lunch and completed some cabin cleaning training.
The Friends of Shenandoah River State Park donated 1,000 dollars to the Virginia State Parks Employee Benevolence Association in support of the event. The Benevolence Association is a non-profit group that donates money to Virginia State Parks Employees who are in severe financial need, usually due to disease or injury that makes them unable to work. The donation will start to replenish funds depleted by requests during the COVID-19 partial shutdown.
Brought to you by our friends at Samuel’s Public Library.
Join Sharon Fisher for this 4-week class as she goes over how to take stunning pictures of wildflowers with any kind of smartphone of camera! She will be giving advice on settings and how to find flowers in your own yard. There will also be follow up discussion groups where you can share your work and get more advice.
Please contact the Library Reference Desk at 540-635-3153 for assistance with downloading Zoom to your device.
Thanks to a grant from the Garden Club of Virginia, the Park embarked on a rehab of the native plant garden that welcomes visitors. We got a whole lot done this year and the garden will be fantastic this spring.
Work began in early 2019 with pruning and weeding. In May path lighting was upgraded from often-not-working solar to low-voltage LED.
In June the stepping stones (a nice natural pathway but more-often-than-not ignored resulting in muddy dirt paths) to the garden’s two Koi viewing benches were replaced with stone dust paths.
Signage was installed recognizing the generosity of the Garden Club of Virginia and the work of the many groups and individuals who have made it happen.
Periodic weeding continued (several individuals doing community service hours were a considerable help) and in late June an energetic group of young ladies from the Langley School (McLean, VA) kicked off replanting of native perennials and shrubs.
The Garden Club of Warren County, Park Friends, and Park staff continued planting in July. Several of the Club members contributed plants from their home gardens. A new garden shed to house tools was purchased and installed. A new trellis was built and installed to host a Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Very dry conditions gave us a challenge in keeping new plants alive – after a lot of work we think most will survive.
In late September a crew began replanting at the day-use rest room area. Several new trees and shrubs will make a big difference to Park users.
Work is presently underway to create new pathways to the several picnic areas that adjoin the Visitor Center. These will have wood borders and stone dust fill like the paths to the Koi pond. This work should be completed before spring.
In the spring we will evaluate plantings and replace and add where needed. We will install educational signage to identify plants and give a little information about them and the animals they attract.
Thanks to all who have helped – The Garden Club of Virginia, the Garden Club of Warren County, the Friends of Shenandoah River State Park, Burner Electrical Service, Fort Valley Nursery, Hill House Nursery, our fantastic Park Staff, and many individuals. We will be looking for your continued help this spring.
With perfect weather, about 150 hikers, and numerous four-legged friends, started 2020 right with a healthy walk followed by refreshments at Shenandoah River’s visitors center. We find it hard to keep a good count because more and more hikers are coming both before and after the set time – they miss the picture but it’s a good way to avoid the starting jam while still enjoying the outdoors. We’ll be back next year but stay healthy and plan to hike often. We have over 24 miles of trails through some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable.