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New State Park Coming to Northern Virginia

Andy Thompson

July 1, 2016 11:43am
The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in the fall. Credit: Tom Lusier

The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in the fall. Credit: Tom Lusier

On June 14, 2016, 604 acres of the 900-acre Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship land preserve, donated by the Robert and Dee Leggett Foundation to the Old Dominion Land Conservancy, were acquired by the Department of Conservation and Recreation with the intent to turn it into a state park.

Representatives from DCR, Virginia State Parks, the Robert and Dee Leggett Foundation, and the non-profit Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, which has been managing the land, held a brainstorming meeting on June 27 to begin the process of establishing an interim management plan.

Located in western Loudoun County, the acquired land mainly consists of protected forests, streams and wetlands accessed by foot trails. The land will remain open to the public during this interim period. Blue Ridge Center Board President Gregory Miller noted, “We look forward to developing an innovative public-private partnership to sustainably manage these extraordinary natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 11.33.59 AM“We are excited to add to the heritage of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains by continuing the good works of the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship to conserve and interpret this site,” said DCR Director Clyde Cristman. “We will take advantage of the proximity of the land to the Appalachian Trail and hope to create an official blue-blaze connecting trail to it.”

Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation for one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Customer Service Center at 800-933-7275 or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?