Often our jobs at Virginia State Parks take surprising fun and interesting turns, and recently we had the opportunity for it to happen again!
Virginia’s ownGovernor Terry McAuliffevisited two of our state parks, his 7th and 8th park in his personal goal of visiting all 36 Virginia State Parks during his time in office.
Our Governor came to Virginia State Parks Central Office, district and park staff were on hand to welcome him to Southwest Virginia.
DCR Deputy Director of Operations, Joe Elton, DCR Director Clyde Cristman, Chief Ranger Patrick Crockett, Park Ranger Leon Gamble, Interim Operation Director/District Manager Dave Collett, Hungry Mother Park Manager Nate Clark, and Deputy Director, Administration and Finance Rochelle Altholz.
The tour began at the New River Trail State Park. Inside the tower, Deputy DCR Director of Operations Joe Elton shared the history of the tower and its significance to our state and national history.
The next stop was the Mark E Hufeisen Horse Complex, the only horse arena in the Virginia State Parks system. The Governor also got to experience the section of trail that runs between the Horse Complex and Foster Falls. The view of the river from the trail was gorgeous and a great reminder of the natural resources for which Virginia is known. The visit ended with a brief presentation of future plans atNew River Trail State Park. Local citizens were also on hand to discuss the importance of the trail to the regional businesses.
DCR Deputy Director Joe Elton explains the significance of the Shot Tower in history
Walking through the renovations made to the Foster Falls Hotel at New River Trail State Park
Governor Terry McAuliffe listens to citizens discussing the importance of New River Trail
From the perspective of this social media nerd, the highlight of the day (outside of actually meeting our Governor) was The Governor tweeting about his visit to New River Trail State Park!
@GovernorVAtweets about his visit to New River Trail State Park (@vastateparks)
On Saturday, November 22, 2014 Governor McAuliffe continued his tour of Southwest Virginia with a visit to Fairy Stone State Park. Community partners and park staff had the opportunity to sit down with the Governor and staff of the Department of Conservation and Recreation for a roundtable discussion.
Tim Collins, executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, as well as president of the Friends of Fairy Stone State Park, spoke to the importance of Fairy Stone State Park as an economic engine in rural Patrick County. Collins also talked about his involvement with Boy Scouts. While the park provides a location for scouting adventures, it also provides an opportunity for the scouts to give back to the community through volunteer projects in the park. “Fairy Stone gives much more to the community than the community gives to the park” stated Collins.
Virginia State Parks staff Tim Vest and John Grooms, VA Conservation and Recreation board chair Bruce Wingo, DCR deputy director Rochelle Altholtz, DRBA executive director Tiffany Haworth, Governor Terry McAuliffe, DCR director Clyde Cristman, DRBA board member T Butler, Patrick County Chamber executive director Tim Collins, DRBA board member Fletcher Waynick
Representatives from the Fairy Stone State Park as a youth, and learning to swim in Fairystone Lake. Dr. Butler went on to become an underwater archeologist. Now Dr. Butler and his wife T serve as board members and volunteers with DRBA in support of their mission “…protecting and promoting the Dan River basin through education, recreation and stewardship.” The Butlers presented some information about the establishment of Mayo River State Park in Virginia. North Carolina’s Mayo River State Park is already open, and DRBA hopes to assist in getting the Virginia park open too. Currently Virginia’s Mayo River State Park is still in the planning process.
Governor McAuliffe with DCR director Clyde Cristman
There is a Virginia State Parks.