Enhancing the Quality of Life and Celebrating the People, Land and History of the Rockfish Valley



RVF Newsletter – January 2017

We are closed for the season after the Christmas holiday and will reopen April 2, 2017

The museum at the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center is closed for the season except for special arrangements for groups. It reopens April 2, 2017. Please call ahead or look for an open sign. We have more than 40 volunteers who staff the museum. We are training new volunteers in February and March. Remember it has a great little gift shop and is always free and open to the public.

Where We Are Headed in 2017 With Our Environmental Literacy Focus

The Virginia State budget for 2017 eliminates the State’s Environmental Education Department and its Staff is already gone. At the same time there will be more state requirement that the schools include more environmental literacy in their programs. How do we help the teachers get to that point? How do we share the resources of Spruce Creek Park and the Natural History Center? We have a plan. We must complete funding our 2017 operating budget through our fund drive to do this. But here is where we have accomplished:

  • Funding from Nelson County Community Fund and SCHAENEMAN Foundation

  • Selection of Nelson school liaison to Rockfish Valley Foundation

  • RVF education committee now includes 12 people but we seek to add more members with experience in education.

In addition we are the initiator in seeking a large multi year grant that would help create tool box support for the teachers not only in Nelson but in surrounding counties of Louisa, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Greene and the city of Charlottesville. A number of non profits are collaborating on this with goal to file for grants in spring 2017.

Trail Development


Jeff McGann completing ADA surface of Native Plant Walk

Nelson Natural day will take place in May at Spruce Creek Park again with a collaboration of the Western Albemarle Environmental Academy. This supports the 4th grade at Rockfish Elementary. We have two programs on the calendar for the 5th graders at Rockfish Elementary. Arbor Day programs at both Tye River Elementary and Rockfish River Elementary are being considered if we find the capacity. We continue to seek interns for both projects and on a paid basis from the schools. Our connectivity with the Scouts has begun. We have two Eagle Scout projects under discussion.

The recreational trail grant from The Dept  of Conservation and Recreation requires a 20% match. That is $6000.  We do not have that in our operation budget. It allows us to seek reimbursement of $30,000 and complete the 11 projects.

Would you please consider a special gift to provide those matching funds!  Also, our fund drive is within $5000 of success and this eblast is the only request we are making  to seek donations for the budget and the matching funds. 
So your foundation is taking its education mission seriously

2017 Programs


In 2017 we are outlining plans for a number of programs. Already approved is a program with Lincoln Brower on the Monarch Butterfly. We are so fortunate to have him in our community. The second is a party at another historic house in the district. The South Rockfish Valley Rural Historic District will soon receive recognition form Governor McAuliffe as a Virginia Treasure. Already there are those encouraging us to extend the district boundary just established. That takes a community conversation but we could pursue that. Let us know what you think. One boundary considered would be Reid’s Gap. Probably the most Interesting program on the drawing board is an extensive one on invasive plants. It will involve PRISM of the Blue Ridge, VA DCR and USDA. We are assembling volunteers for that now if you are interested. It will be late summer. The last program is one on geology. Our Nelsonite program was a great success and there is obvious interest to learn more about Rockfish Valley Geology.

Save the date:
Kite Festival, April 9,
2017 from 11-3

We have updated much on our two websites so when winter keeps you in and you want to learn more about the neighborhood, take a look: www.rockfishvalley.org and www.nelsonscenicloop.com

Grants for Spruce Creek Park are being implemented.

We have 11 small projects to improve the Children’s Nature Trail, the Native Plant Walk and the Wildflower Meadows. We always need additional funding and volunteers but the bones are coming together so well you should stop and take a walk. One of these should be completed each month and all finished by fall.

Rockfish Valley Visitors and Information Center is open


Christmas Card photo after 100’s of hours restoring the Natural History Center

As many of you know, we have rack card holders with over 100 venues’ brochures, maps and general help on what to do and see in the Rockfish Valley and in Nelson County. Stop by and look all the exterior painting was done

P.S.- the huge amount of scraping, repair, priming and painting to the front of the building was done at no cost to the Rockfish Valley Foundation. Check it out. It looks wonderful. And no foundation funds were used to fight the pipeline impact on Rockfish Valley Foundation resources.




Contact Us:

Email: info@rockfishvalley.org
Office phone: (434) 226-0446
History center phone: (434) 361-0271

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