Coming Sunday, October 16th, at 3PM

Celebrate Nelsonite with us

the new Virginia State Rock !




3-5 P.M. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016

at Tuckahoe School, Stoney Creek, Nellysford

We are presenting the who, what, where, when, and why of Nelsonite at Tuckahoe School on Oct 16. The space holds 90 people and we can reserve you a spot but otherwise it is first come first seated. On May 31, 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe designated Nelsonite as the state rock of Virginia effective July 1, 2016. Here is a link to a Bureau of Mines document from 1970 which you can read to learn more about Nelsonite and Piney River and Roseland. (Bureau of Mines #1371). At the event we will have Lawrence Tiezzi, professor from PVCC who was behind the selection; state geologist, David Spears will also talk on the geology of the Rockfish Valley as well as Nelsonite; David Lipscomb from the Rock shop (RVCC) will talk about rock collecting; along with a few others will be presenting.
You will go away knowing so much more about our local geology and this special rock which is found in the Piney River / Roseland area of Nelson County

nelsonite sign

Following the presentation will be a geology walk along the rockfish river for 25 persons

Come get your Osage Oranges

Tis the season that the ELK HILL osage oranges fall into the field by the road at the entrance. Many of you know they are great for flower arrangements and for keeping away bugs in a basement. Come and get them. Just bring your own bags. Turn around at the little garage where the Persophene sculpture stands. If you want lots for a party let us know. The history of the Osage orange as brought to Thomas Jefferson by Lewis & Clarke is fascinating. Here is a link to the story: Osage Orange Tree

Prize Drawing

Gene Hughes is a local historian and a wood woodworker. He has made lots of wood items which he sells at the farmer’s market. He created a special 10th anniversary item for the Rockfish Valley Foundation. It is a walking stick made of Nelson Walnut and Nelson Stag antler. People who attended the celebration of the historic district Sept 18 registered to win it in a drawing. The drawing sign up will continue until December when a lucky winner will be selected at our volunteer party. If you come into the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center museum you can register. You may also register at the Nelsonite event on October 16. Thanks Gene !

good luck – someone will win.

Invasive Plants

spotted knapweed


We think one of the major problems for the environment is the spread of invasive plants. RVF hopes to do more to educate about this problem in the future. We have just been introduced to a new organization in Virginia with which we hope to collaborate. It is the Blue Ridge PRISM which is a partnership for regional invasive species management. They have an educational website Blue Ridge PRISM. Landowner funding is provided through USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services located in Louisa, Virginia. They have just received almost $900,000 to disburse toapplicants in a 10 county area including Nelson (Natural Resources Conservation Service). If you have a farm you will be eligible for funding and consultation if you apply. There are 12 invasives identified as the ones to fight. You know some of them: spotted knapweed, kudzu, ailanthus and lespedeza. Let’s learn and take action now !

Rockfish Valley Foundation 10th anniversary was celebrated on September 18, 2016

Three Chimneys

Along with the recognition of the South rockfish Valley Historic district. The foundation is a Non profit recognized by Internal Revenue Service in August 2006. Over the 10 years there have been major accomplishments:

~ Dedication of the Rockfish Valley Birding Trails in September 2006 as part of the state wide system hosted by VA Dept of Game and Insland Fisheries. Design and installation of the Kids in Parks Trail affiliated with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the Rockfish Valley Geology Trail.

~ Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center opened June 2012 affiliated with VA Museum of Natural History which plays host to thousands of visitors each year. Kids can become Rockfish Rangers and use our Camp Rockfish materials.

~ South Rockfish Valley Rural Historic District recognized by Virginia Department of Historic Resources on June 16, 2016 and U. S. Department of Interior, National Park Service August 15,2016

For THE FUTURE our goals are to complete the Spruce Creek Park Children’s Nature Trail and Spruce Creek Park Native Plant Walk and connect their resources to those in the Natural History Center. Equally important we plan to enhance our Collaboration with Nelson County Schools and promote Nelson Natural Day, field trips, Education and Environmental Literacy. To do this we need to build capacity. That means to raise money, get more volunteers and to create partnerships with others. Please consider a gift this year to our fund drive. That will be announced in early October. Also please consider giving time as a docent so we can find the 12 docents to staff a Wednesday opening. You will begin to learn so much about our community. There is no paid staff and no funding from Nelson County.

We are proud of our success and welcome your comments on what we can do better to serve our community.

Please go to to donate or volunteer.