Friday, July 31, 2009

Historic Resources Report Presented

At 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 6th at the historic Spencer Penn Centre we will make a public presentation of the countywide historic resources report, which documents 450 historic resources in Henry County and Martinsville. Please attend this public presentation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Hill Studio, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The completed historic resources report is an important step forward for local citizens working to preserve, celebrate, and educate the public about Henry County and Martinsville's rich heritage. The report is made possible by the generous support of The Harvest Foundation.

Historic Resources Report Presented

At 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 6th at the historic Spencer Penn Centre we will make a public presentation of the countywide historic resources report, which documents 450 historic resources in Henry County and Martinsville. Please attend this public presentation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Hill Studio, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The completed historic resources report is an important step forward for local citizens working to preserve, celebrate, and educate the public about Henry County and Martinsville's rich heritage. The report is made possible by the generous support of The Harvest Foundation.

“High School Graduates to Take Biking Tips to College”

For most college freshman, the idea of living on campus without a car seems impossible. Through the Upward Bound Program, several college-bound students learned about a new form of transportation on campus: a bicycle.

Activate Martinsville-Henry County instructed the group of students on bicycle and road safety as well as the health benefits that result from bicycling on a regular basis. Stressed to be particularly important for college life were issues such as staying safe while riding in the dark, sharing the road with cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists, and the rules of the road, including the proper hand signals bicyclists must use.

Activate’s mission of promoting active living through increased biking and walking is now reaching another sector of the community’s youth as college students take their newly learned bicycle tips to school.

“High School Graduates to Take Biking Tips to College”

For most college freshman, the idea of living on campus without a car seems impossible. Through the Upward Bound Program, several college-bound students learned about a new form of transportation on campus: a bicycle.

Activate Martinsville-Henry County instructed the group of students on bicycle and road safety as well as the health benefits that result from bicycling on a regular basis. Stressed to be particularly important for college life were issues such as staying safe while riding in the dark, sharing the road with cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists, and the rules of the road, including the proper hand signals bicyclists must use.

Activate’s mission of promoting active living through increased biking and walking is now reaching another sector of the community’s youth as college students take their newly learned bicycle tips to school.

“MHC After 3 Walks & Bikes at Jack Dalton Park”

As a part of Activate Martinsville-Henry County’s new initiative to bring the benefits of an active lifestyle to the local youth, Activate staff hosted a biking and walking program for the members of MHC After 3. The youth of MHC After 3, ages 13-14, took part in the three hour session at Jack Dalton Park where they not only enjoyed walking and biking along the trails with Activate staff, but also received the necessary instruction on safety and awareness when walking and biking. The kids learned the proper way to walk, the importance of stretching before and after physical activity, and the basics of bicycle safety. Particularly important was helmet fitting and safety. Activate demonstrated the necessity of a helmet with the “melon drop,” where two cantaloupes, one with a helmet and one without, showcase the protection the helmet gives the head upon impact with the ground. Each participant also learned the health benefits of both walking and biking as they apply to burning calories, weight loss, stress management, and bone and muscle strength. This curriculum, geared towards middle school-age students, will serve approximately 200 area youth this summer.

“MHC After 3 Walks & Bikes at Jack Dalton Park”

As a part of Activate Martinsville-Henry County’s new initiative to bring the benefits of an active lifestyle to the local youth, Activate staff hosted a biking and walking program for the members of MHC After 3. The youth of MHC After 3, ages 13-14, took part in the three hour session at Jack Dalton Park where they not only enjoyed walking and biking along the trails with Activate staff, but also received the necessary instruction on safety and awareness when walking and biking. The kids learned the proper way to walk, the importance of stretching before and after physical activity, and the basics of bicycle safety. Particularly important was helmet fitting and safety. Activate demonstrated the necessity of a helmet with the “melon drop,” where two cantaloupes, one with a helmet and one without, showcase the protection the helmet gives the head upon impact with the ground. Each participant also learned the health benefits of both walking and biking as they apply to burning calories, weight loss, stress management, and bone and muscle strength. This curriculum, geared towards middle school-age students, will serve approximately 200 area youth this summer.

“City Paints Its Way to Safer Streets”

As a part of the dedication to improving infrastructure for pedestrians in the area, the City of Martinsville is restriping crosswalks within the Uptown area. Walking in Uptown is becoming popular among residents. More and more people are walking and biking in and around the locality.

As the City works toward a more walkable/bikeable friendly community, Activate has developed an Infrastructure Priority Plan that identifies potential barriers that may prevent people from being active. This plan is being implemented and addressed by City staff.

Having properly striped crosswalks is a key element of pedestrian safety in each of Activate’s programs as well as for all residents who walk Uptown. The crosswalk restriping follows the creation of the city’s first bike lane along a 0.6 mile stretch of Clearview Drive, another project that promoted safer cycling in the area.

“City Paints Its Way to Safer Streets”

As a part of the dedication to improving infrastructure for pedestrians in the area, the City of Martinsville is restriping crosswalks within the Uptown area. Walking in Uptown is becoming popular among residents. More and more people are walking and biking in and around the locality.

As the City works toward a more walkable/bikeable friendly community, Activate has developed an Infrastructure Priority Plan that identifies potential barriers that may prevent people from being active. This plan is being implemented and addressed by City staff.

Having properly striped crosswalks is a key element of pedestrian safety in each of Activate’s programs as well as for all residents who walk Uptown. The crosswalk restriping follows the creation of the city’s first bike lane along a 0.6 mile stretch of Clearview Drive, another project that promoted safer cycling in the area.

“Kids Learn New Moves With Activate"

Activate Martinsville-Henry County kicked off its first children’s curriculum with a biking program for ages K-5 with the Boys & Girls Club on June 20th and 22nd. Partnering with the City Police Department, Activate tailored a one hour-long curriculum that focused on the importance of proper biking equipment and the essentials of road safety. Helmet safety in particular was stressed to the kids, as well as the “Dos and Don’ts” of riding a bicycle. The curriculum included interactive education; the kids answered questions about the basics of bicycles and bike riding. The kids familiarized themselves with bike parts by partaking in an old game with a new twist, “Pin the Name on the Bike.” Finally, each child learned new moves as the group practiced the correct hand signals to be used while bicycling on the road.

“Kids Learn New Moves With Activate"

Activate Martinsville-Henry County kicked off its first children’s curriculum with a biking program for ages K-5 with the Boys & Girls Club on June 20th and 22nd. Partnering with the City Police Department, Activate tailored a one hour-long curriculum that focused on the importance of proper biking equipment and the essentials of road safety. Helmet safety in particular was stressed to the kids, as well as the “Dos and Don’ts” of riding a bicycle. The curriculum included interactive education; the kids answered questions about the basics of bicycles and bike riding. The kids familiarized themselves with bike parts by partaking in an old game with a new twist, “Pin the Name on the Bike.” Finally, each child learned new moves as the group practiced the correct hand signals to be used while bicycling on the road.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Busy Weekend in the Dan River Basin

There certainly was no excuse to be bored this past weekend! With so many wonderful events going on, it reminded me how fortunate we are to live in the Dan River basin.

On Saturday, the Dan River in Kibler Valley was the place to be for adrenaline junkies at the annual Kibler Valley Race. Our very own Andy Parker of DRBA participated in the race and filmed the excitement for others to enjoy. [video to be posted soon]

In Fieldale, athletes of all ages gathered at the Fieldale Trail for the 1st annual Smith River Mini Triathlon. Participants ran, paddled, and cycled their way to the finish line. Jim Frith, a DRBA member, helped his team win first place in the male team division. 27 racers participated in the event and all had a great time. The event was hosted by Henry County Parks & Recreation(HCPR), Martinsville Lesiure Services (MLS), YMCA, and Activate M-HC. It was held on the Fieldale Trail which is being extended by the Dan River Basin Association.
You didn't have to be an athlete though to enjoy the sweet music of Dean Smith and Montana. These two have an amazing sound and entertained the crowd while race scores were being calculated.


For those new to cycling, Ellen Jessee of the Henry County Bike Club and DRBA led a Beginner's Bike Ride at the Fieldale Trail. Eleven new cyclist joined her to learn about the rules of the road, changing gears, and other cycling tips. This free event is offered by the Henry County Bike Club on the fourth saturday of each month at 10 a.m.






Nature lovers enjoyed learning about slithery creatures at the Virginia Museum of Natural History's Reptile Day. Dr. Denny Casey, a DRBA member, is the caretaker of VMNH's newest exhibit- a seven year old corn snake named "Corny".

In the afternoon nearly thirty new paddlers met at Beaver Creek Reservoir and learned how to Kayak in classes taught by Eric Juday of Smith River Adventure Outfitters. Eric is a DRBA member and a new outfitter in our area offering canoe/kayak rentals, guided trips, and private lessons. His business will officially open this week. These kayaking classes are hosted by DRBA, HCPR, and MLS.
On Sunday, the staff of Smith River Adventure Outfitters took out a group of more experienced paddlers out for an intermediate kayak class. The twelve paddlers had a great time and learned some new skills while on the Smith River. During lunch, DRBA member and volunteer, Paul May took a break to snorkel. He explored some of the biodiveristy found in the Smith River including, crayfish, rock bass, chubs, minnows, and lung snails. (At right: Eric Juday & Paul May) [Video from our outing to be posted soon]

As you can see there are tons of activities that you can do in the Dan River basin, and an equally large number of great people to meet.

Q: What do all these people you've met have in common?

A: They are all members of the Dan River Basin Association!

By becoming a member of the Dan River Basin Association you are supporting our efforts to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin. Please help us fufill our mission and become a member today! As a DRBA member you will recieve:
--Exclusive access to our current quarterly newsletter
--Annual reports
--An invitation to monthly outings, membership meetings, and other events
--A free logo decal for your boat or vehicle
--The opportunity to enjoy time on our rivers and trails with other outdoor enthusiasts
--The opportunity to play a role in protecting and promoting the Dan River Basin
--Special outings for members only

Busy Weekend in the Dan River Basin

There certainly was no excuse to be bored this past weekend! With so many wonderful events going on, it reminded me how fortunate we are to live in the Dan River basin.

On Saturday, the Dan River in Kibler Valley was the place to be for adrenaline junkies at the annual Kibler Valley Race. Our very own Andy Parker of DRBA participated in the race and filmed the excitement for others to enjoy. [video to be posted soon]

In Fieldale, athletes of all ages gathered at the Fieldale Trail for the 1st annual Smith River Mini Triathlon. Participants ran, paddled, and cycled their way to the finish line. Jim Frith, a DRBA member, helped his team win first place in the male team division. 27 racers participated in the event and all had a great time. The event was hosted by Henry County Parks & Recreation(HCPR), Martinsville Lesiure Services (MLS), YMCA, and Activate M-HC. It was held on the Fieldale Trail which is being extended by the Dan River Basin Association.
You didn't have to be an athlete though to enjoy the sweet music of Dean Smith and Montana. These two have an amazing sound and entertained the crowd while race scores were being calculated.
video

For those new to cycling, Ellen Jessee of the Henry County Bike Club and DRBA led a Beginner's Bike Ride at the Fieldale Trail. Eleven new cyclist joined her to learn about the rules of the road, changing gears, and other cycling tips. This free event is offered by the Henry County Bike Club on the fourth saturday of each month at 10 a.m.






Nature lovers enjoyed learning about slithery creatures at the Virginia Museum of Natural History's Reptile Day. Dr. Denny Casey, a DRBA member, is the caretaker of VMNH's newest exhibit- a seven year old corn snake named "Corny".

In the afternoon nearly thirty new paddlers met at Beaver Creek Reservoir and learned how to Kayak in classes taught by Eric Juday of Smith River Adventure Outfitters. Eric is a DRBA member and a new outfitter in our area offering canoe/kayak rentals, guided trips, and private lessons. His business will officially open this week. These kayaking classes are hosted by DRBA, HCPR, and MLS.
On Sunday, the staff of Smith River Adventure Outfitters took out a group of more experienced paddlers out for an intermediate kayak class. The twelve paddlers had a great time and learned some new skills while on the Smith River. During lunch, DRBA member and volunteer, Paul May took a break to snorkel. He explored some of the biodiveristy found in the Smith River including, crayfish, rock bass, chubs, minnows, and lung snails. (At right: Eric Juday & Paul May) [Video from our outing to be posted soon]

As you can see there are tons of activities that you can do in the Dan River basin, and an equally large number of great people to meet.

Q: What do all these people you've met have in common?

A: They are all members of the Dan River Basin Association!

By becoming a member of the Dan River Basin Association you are supporting our efforts to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin. Please help us fufill our mission and become a member today! As a DRBA member you will recieve:
--Exclusive access to our current quarterly newsletter
--Annual reports
--An invitation to monthly outings, membership meetings, and other events
--A free logo decal for your boat or vehicle
--The opportunity to enjoy time on our rivers and trails with other outdoor enthusiasts
--The opportunity to play a role in protecting and promoting the Dan River Basin
--Special outings for members only

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tour de Scholar


Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s
Education Foundation

Presents the
2nd Annual

Tour de Scholar
Charity Bike Ride

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Registration Starts at 7:00 am – Riders Off at 8:00 am
Smith River Sports Complex
1000 Irisburg Road – Axton, VA 24054

For Route Information (maps & que sheets) Visit www.henrycountybikeclub.org
Questions, Please Call 276-632-6401 or Email sharon@mhcchamber.com

Tour de Scholar


Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s
Education Foundation

Presents the
2nd Annual

Tour de Scholar
Charity Bike Ride

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Registration Starts at 7:00 am – Riders Off at 8:00 am
Smith River Sports Complex
1000 Irisburg Road – Axton, VA 24054

For Route Information (maps & que sheets) Visit www.henrycountybikeclub.org
Questions, Please Call 276-632-6401 or Email sharon@mhcchamber.com

FAHI Documents Historic Graveyards


The Fayette Area Historical Initiative (FAHI) is leading a project to document and preserve church and other historic cemeteries in Martinsville-Henry County and surrounding areas of Southern Virginia. What makes this project unique is that it will also include an inventory of natural features in the cemeteries, and offer public programming to better understand and strengthen the historic bonds that African Americans have with the natural world.

The online registry will include historical information about each site, a list of persons interred, map of grave locations, image of tombstones and other surviving grave markings, and an inventory of trees and other natural features. Directions will be posted on the internet on how to locate the cemeteries and whether visitors are allowed.

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) is one of FAHI’s key partners in the project, providing web and grant-writing technical assistance as well as access to scholars in history and the environmental field. Support from the Virginia Environmental Endowment is making the project possible.

“Documented cemeteries are important steps toward historical preservation,” says Curtis Millner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, FAHI. “They are historical with stories to tell to locals as well as tourists and visitors. “ Local historian, Mr. Beverly Millner of Axton, Virginia, has already amassed a library of information to jump start the project. Jackie Keen with St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Sandy Level, Virginia, has submitted a map and other information on her church’s historic cemetery. Some of the graves—and quite likely some of the trees as well—at that site are believed to be more than a hundred years old.

The connection between the human history and the natural world is an important aspect of the project. During the antebellum period, funerals were almost the only times that African Americans were allowed to practice and affirm cultural rituals on plantations or smaller farms. Funerals were extremely important in the ongoing quest to maintain a sense of identity, community and family during oppression. Some research has been published about African-American burial practices , such as the meaning of items placed in and on the grave; direction feet were pointed—much connected to an African past. It was during these times that people held in bondage could escape the almost constant gaze of the oppressor, allowing them to commit loved ones and friends, body if not soul, to the earth with basic human dignity.

In addition to grave cleanups and natural inventories, the project will include educational programs and community discussions on topics such as how historical landscape preservation can also help protect rivers and green space; African-American farming and land stewardship knowledge and practices; meaning of African-American burial rites and practices; and rich environmental ethics of the African Diaspora as expressed in myths, folklore and spiritual traditions.

“Landscapes and wild places have been the staging ground for the creation of our identity and community,” says Jenny Edwards, DRBA staff. “Our human story is written there; and nowhere more so than our final resting places. This is where loss and grief find a shared sacred moment with family, friends and other loved ones. At what time is the expression of who we are and what we have meant to each other more important? What could be a more compelling reason to connect to the earth?”

FAHI is a non-profit museum located in Martinsville, Virginia. Its mission is to collect, preserve and interpret African American experiences in Martinsville-Henry County. The museum is open Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday by appointment. Financial donations to support the project are appreciated can be mailed to FAHI, 504 Fayette Street, Martinsville, Virginia 24112. Any church or individuals interested in joining or contributing to the project may contact FAHI at (276) 732-3496.
Article & Photo provided by: Jenny Edwards

FAHI Documents Historic Graveyards


The Fayette Area Historical Initiative (FAHI) is leading a project to document and preserve church and other historic cemeteries in Martinsville-Henry County and surrounding areas of Southern Virginia. What makes this project unique is that it will also include an inventory of natural features in the cemeteries, and offer public programming to better understand and strengthen the historic bonds that African Americans have with the natural world.

The online registry will include historical information about each site, a list of persons interred, map of grave locations, image of tombstones and other surviving grave markings, and an inventory of trees and other natural features. Directions will be posted on the internet on how to locate the cemeteries and whether visitors are allowed.

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) is one of FAHI’s key partners in the project, providing web and grant-writing technical assistance as well as access to scholars in history and the environmental field. Support from the Virginia Environmental Endowment is making the project possible.

“Documented cemeteries are important steps toward historical preservation,” says Curtis Millner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, FAHI. “They are historical with stories to tell to locals as well as tourists and visitors. “ Local historian, Mr. Beverly Millner of Axton, Virginia, has already amassed a library of information to jump start the project. Jackie Keen with St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Sandy Level, Virginia, has submitted a map and other information on her church’s historic cemetery. Some of the graves—and quite likely some of the trees as well—at that site are believed to be more than a hundred years old.

The connection between the human history and the natural world is an important aspect of the project. During the antebellum period, funerals were almost the only times that African Americans were allowed to practice and affirm cultural rituals on plantations or smaller farms. Funerals were extremely important in the ongoing quest to maintain a sense of identity, community and family during oppression. Some research has been published about African-American burial practices , such as the meaning of items placed in and on the grave; direction feet were pointed—much connected to an African past. It was during these times that people held in bondage could escape the almost constant gaze of the oppressor, allowing them to commit loved ones and friends, body if not soul, to the earth with basic human dignity.

In addition to grave cleanups and natural inventories, the project will include educational programs and community discussions on topics such as how historical landscape preservation can also help protect rivers and green space; African-American farming and land stewardship knowledge and practices; meaning of African-American burial rites and practices; and rich environmental ethics of the African Diaspora as expressed in myths, folklore and spiritual traditions.

“Landscapes and wild places have been the staging ground for the creation of our identity and community,” says Jenny Edwards, DRBA staff. “Our human story is written there; and nowhere more so than our final resting places. This is where loss and grief find a shared sacred moment with family, friends and other loved ones. At what time is the expression of who we are and what we have meant to each other more important? What could be a more compelling reason to connect to the earth?”

FAHI is a non-profit museum located in Martinsville, Virginia. Its mission is to collect, preserve and interpret African American experiences in Martinsville-Henry County. The museum is open Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday by appointment. Financial donations to support the project are appreciated can be mailed to FAHI, 504 Fayette Street, Martinsville, Virginia 24112. Any church or individuals interested in joining or contributing to the project may contact FAHI at (276) 732-3496.
Article & Photo provided by: Jenny Edwards

Thursday, July 16, 2009

DRBA Founding Member Retires from Board

Long time board of directors member and one of the DRBA's founding fathers retired from his position on the board this week. Dr. Lindley Butler, Historical Consultant and Professor Emeritus of History, Rockingham Community College, announced his retirement from his seat on the Board of Directors of the Dan River Basin Association. Dr. Butler was born in "the land between the rivers" and grew up on the Smith and the Dan. He has devoted his life to the study, history, and preservation of the unique resources of the Dan River Basin and along with his wife T, was instrumental in bringing together a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to preserving and promoting the cultural and natural resources of the 3,300 square mile basin which includes the Dan, Smith, Mayo, Sandy, Bannister and Hyco rivers.

Dr. Butler was recently honored at the July Board of directors meeting with a service award and several framed photographs showcasing his love for the rivers he grew up on.
DRBA President Wayne Kirkpatrick described Dr. Butler as one of the most inspiring and devoted spokesperson for our area rivers and his accomplishments as author and historian have been a key asset to the formation of the Basin Association and in the preservation of its resources for all. Dr. Butler said he grew up on the river and it has always been and always will be huge part of his life.

DRBA staff and board members will miss Dr. Butler's presence on the board but know that he will still be a key member of the organization and hold the highest respect for his accomplishments and dedication. Even though he is retiring from the board to complete work on his recent book, he will still be an intrical resource for all things related to the organization and the future of the Dan River Basin. We thank Dr. Butler and T for their outstanding, and continued service to the Dan River Basin Association

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh my!"

Trusses from the historic Fieldale Iron Bridge are shown above on a truck provided by project sponsor Craddock Logging Supply & Repair. The incorporation of these trusses into a local trail as educational art is just one of the exciting programs that participants will learn about while attending “Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh My!”
The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) would like to invite the public to attend a special presentation entitled “Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh my!” It will be held on Tuesday, July 14th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fieldale Community Center.

The presentation, led by Jennifer Doss of DRBA, will showcase places where residents and visitors can enjoy walking, biking, fishing, nature watching, and paddling in Martinsville and Henry County. Participants will also learn about special projects centered on area trails such as the preservation of trusses from the historic Fieldale Iron Bridge and the Adopt-a-Trail program.

If you would like to learn more about the future of our area trails, how they are benefiting our community, and how you can get involved; please attend this informative presentation.

DRBA’s Rivers & Trails project and the Adopt-a-Trail program are funded by a two-year grant from the Harvest Foundation which is dedicated to making Martinsville / Henry County the community of choice by enhancing opportunities and quality of life for all of its citizens.

For more information on these programs or the public presentation, please contact Jennifer Doss at 276-634-2545 or jdoss@danriver.org.

Posted by: Jennifer Doss

"Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh my!"

Trusses from the historic Fieldale Iron Bridge are shown above on a truck provided by project sponsor Craddock Logging Supply & Repair. The incorporation of these trusses into a local trail as educational art is just one of the exciting programs that participants will learn about while attending “Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh My!”
The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) would like to invite the public to attend a special presentation entitled “Trails, and Trusses, and Travelers! Oh my!” It will be held on Tuesday, July 14th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fieldale Community Center.

The presentation, led by Jennifer Doss of DRBA, will showcase places where residents and visitors can enjoy walking, biking, fishing, nature watching, and paddling in Martinsville and Henry County. Participants will also learn about special projects centered on area trails such as the preservation of trusses from the historic Fieldale Iron Bridge and the Adopt-a-Trail program.

If you would like to learn more about the future of our area trails, how they are benefiting our community, and how you can get involved; please attend this informative presentation.

DRBA’s Rivers & Trails project and the Adopt-a-Trail program are funded by a two-year grant from the Harvest Foundation which is dedicated to making Martinsville / Henry County the community of choice by enhancing opportunities and quality of life for all of its citizens.

For more information on these programs or the public presentation, please contact Jennifer Doss at 276-634-2545 or jdoss@danriver.org.

Posted by: Jennifer Doss

Master Naturalist Program to Offer New Class

Come find out about fun and interesting classes to become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist. A brief overview of Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program will precede a free public lecture on reptiles.

Jason Gibson, a Danville biology teacher and nature photographer who has served as president of the Virginia Herpetological Society, will be the guest lecturer.

Jason helps to organize events, called bioblitzes in which teams of scientists, volunteers, and community members join forces to find, identify, and learn about as many different species as possible.

These events give adults, kids, and teens the opportunity to join biologists in the field, participate in bona fide research expeditions, and learn from the experts about biodiversity—both around the planet and in our own backyards.

This is a fun and interesting way for communities to learn about the biological diversity of local parks and to better understand how to protect them. Jason often volunteers to identify, document and report reptiles and amphibians on site.

He will share some of the interesting work he is doing with local turtle populations.

Would you like to learn more about Virginia’s natural environment? Would you like to experience the natural beauty of our region on field trips led by specialists in their field of study? The local chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program is offering a great opportunity to gain a broad overview of the biodiversity, local ecosystems, and geographical treasures found in Southwestern Virginia.

Community members are invited to attend a public informational meeting on July 16th at 6:00 pm at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, in the Mr. And Mrs. L. Dudley Walker Lecture Hall. This is an opportunity to meet with current members of the program and to learn more about the program and the upcoming course of study.

During this brief informational meeting, community members can sign up for a course of study that starts on August 18, 2009. Registration can also be made online by filling out the application provided at the chapter website.

Weekly classes will be taught by a variety of guest speakers, who focus in areas of their specific expertise. Training includes forty hours of classroom sessions and field trips to learn more about our natural environment. Other opportunities for advanced training and volunteer service are easily coordinated once basic training is finished to receive certification. After completing these requirements, chapter members may become Certified Virginia Master Naturalists.

The Virginia Master Naturalists Program is part of a statewide plan designed to train and involve volunteers in natural resource education, management, and conservation activities. The Virginia Museum of Natural History is the sponsoring agency for the Southwestern Piedmont Chapter and helps with certifying Virginia Master Naturalists locally.

Additional information can be found by contacting Denny Casey at 276-634-4184.

Contributed by: Lynn Pritchett

Master Naturalist Program to Offer New Class

Come find out about fun and interesting classes to become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist. A brief overview of Southwestern Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program will precede a free public lecture on reptiles.

Jason Gibson, a Danville biology teacher and nature photographer who has served as president of the Virginia Herpetological Society, will be the guest lecturer.

Jason helps to organize events, called bioblitzes in which teams of scientists, volunteers, and community members join forces to find, identify, and learn about as many different species as possible.

These events give adults, kids, and teens the opportunity to join biologists in the field, participate in bona fide research expeditions, and learn from the experts about biodiversity—both around the planet and in our own backyards.

This is a fun and interesting way for communities to learn about the biological diversity of local parks and to better understand how to protect them. Jason often volunteers to identify, document and report reptiles and amphibians on site.

He will share some of the interesting work he is doing with local turtle populations.

Would you like to learn more about Virginia’s natural environment? Would you like to experience the natural beauty of our region on field trips led by specialists in their field of study? The local chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program is offering a great opportunity to gain a broad overview of the biodiversity, local ecosystems, and geographical treasures found in Southwestern Virginia.

Community members are invited to attend a public informational meeting on July 16th at 6:00 pm at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, in the Mr. And Mrs. L. Dudley Walker Lecture Hall. This is an opportunity to meet with current members of the program and to learn more about the program and the upcoming course of study.

During this brief informational meeting, community members can sign up for a course of study that starts on August 18, 2009. Registration can also be made online by filling out the application provided at the chapter website.

Weekly classes will be taught by a variety of guest speakers, who focus in areas of their specific expertise. Training includes forty hours of classroom sessions and field trips to learn more about our natural environment. Other opportunities for advanced training and volunteer service are easily coordinated once basic training is finished to receive certification. After completing these requirements, chapter members may become Certified Virginia Master Naturalists.

The Virginia Master Naturalists Program is part of a statewide plan designed to train and involve volunteers in natural resource education, management, and conservation activities. The Virginia Museum of Natural History is the sponsoring agency for the Southwestern Piedmont Chapter and helps with certifying Virginia Master Naturalists locally.

Additional information can be found by contacting Denny Casey at 276-634-4184.

Contributed by: Lynn Pritchett

Friday, July 10, 2009

DRBA Welcomes a New Team Member

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) would like to announce the addition of a new member to Team DRBA! Regenia Manns, shown above walking the Fieldale Trail, is our new Administrative Assistant in the Collinsville office. Regenia is from Martinsville and enjoys walking and bowling. We are excited to have her on board as we work together to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin! You can catch her in the office on Mondays & Wednesdays between 9 am and 5 pm, and also on Fridays between 9 am and 4 pm. Her office number is 276-634-2591.

DRBA Welcomes a New Team Member

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) would like to announce the addition of a new member to Team DRBA! Regenia Manns, shown above walking the Fieldale Trail, is our new Administrative Assistant in the Collinsville office. Regenia is from Martinsville and enjoys walking and bowling. We are excited to have her on board as we work together to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin! You can catch her in the office on Mondays & Wednesdays between 9 am and 5 pm, and also on Fridays between 9 am and 4 pm. Her office number is 276-634-2591.

Two Paddle Events offered August 1st



On August 1 members of the Dan River Basin Association and their guests will have a choice: enter or assist with the boat race sponsored by the Madison-Mayodan Recreation Department, or float with DRBA’s First Saturday Outing near Hanging Rock State Park.

Both the Madison and the Stokes County floats will be on flat or Class 1 river sections suitable for novice paddlers with some river experience.

Entrants in the 20th Annual Madison Boat Race will run a 2.5 mile course from Lindsey Bridge Access to NC 704 Access. The event will offer food, entertainment and awards in a variety of age, gender and boat categories.

Non-racers will join Will Truslow for a scenic 6.5-mile float on the Dan River in Stokes County from Big Creek to the Dan River Company. Participants will meet at the Dan River Company, 1110 Flinchum Road, Danbury, NC, where from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., David Hoskins will shuttle drivers to the put-in.

One of the most popular stretches of the Dan River, “There are incredible bluffs that come straight down to riverside. The scenery is magnificent.” Near the end of the trip, he adds, is “a quarter-mile-long bluff that is stunning.”

Most of the trip will be through lands recognized by the state of North Carolina as State Natural Heritage Areas, and about half a mile is in Hanging Rock State Park.
Within the first two miles after the put-in, three creeks enter the Dan on river right—North Double Creek, South Double Creek, and Cascade Creek. Cascade Creek comes in at Moore’s Spring Campground, site of a mineral spring discovered in 1866 and of a spa operated from about 1900 to the 1920’s.

Shortly afterward, paddlers may take a break at “Demon Rock,” (the name corrupted from “Denman’s Rock,” its name in 1800), a spectacular 60-foot cliff. Travelers have imagined they could see such images in the rock face as cowboy boots and a Native American face.

Boaters’ imaginations are further reflected in names given to small ledges in the riverbed, including Dogleg Rock Rapid, Three Sisters Rapid, Play Wave Rapid, and Learning Curve Rapid.
Besides natural ledges, paddlers will pass vee-shaped fish traps, used for centuries by Native Americans and European settlers to channel fish into nets or baskets during their annual spawning runs.

To reach the Dan River Company from Danbury, NC, travel north on NC 8/89 past Hanging Rock Park Road. Go one mile, turn left onto Flinchum Road, and go to the end of the road.

Participants in the outing are asked to provide boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in layers of quick-drying fabric and to sign a waiver.

Boat rentals are available at the Dan River Company, 336-593-2628 or http://www.danrivercompany.com/.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For trip information, contact trip coordinator Will Truslow at 336-547-1903 or willtruslow@hotmail.com.

For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit http://www.danriver.org/.


Contributed by: T Butler

Two Paddle Events offered August 1st



On August 1 members of the Dan River Basin Association and their guests will have a choice: enter or assist with the boat race sponsored by the Madison-Mayodan Recreation Department, or float with DRBA’s First Saturday Outing near Hanging Rock State Park.

Both the Madison and the Stokes County floats will be on flat or Class 1 river sections suitable for novice paddlers with some river experience.

Entrants in the 20th Annual Madison Boat Race will run a 2.5 mile course from Lindsey Bridge Access to NC 704 Access. The event will offer food, entertainment and awards in a variety of age, gender and boat categories.

Non-racers will join Will Truslow for a scenic 6.5-mile float on the Dan River in Stokes County from Big Creek to the Dan River Company. Participants will meet at the Dan River Company, 1110 Flinchum Road, Danbury, NC, where from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., David Hoskins will shuttle drivers to the put-in.

One of the most popular stretches of the Dan River, “There are incredible bluffs that come straight down to riverside. The scenery is magnificent.” Near the end of the trip, he adds, is “a quarter-mile-long bluff that is stunning.”

Most of the trip will be through lands recognized by the state of North Carolina as State Natural Heritage Areas, and about half a mile is in Hanging Rock State Park.
Within the first two miles after the put-in, three creeks enter the Dan on river right—North Double Creek, South Double Creek, and Cascade Creek. Cascade Creek comes in at Moore’s Spring Campground, site of a mineral spring discovered in 1866 and of a spa operated from about 1900 to the 1920’s.

Shortly afterward, paddlers may take a break at “Demon Rock,” (the name corrupted from “Denman’s Rock,” its name in 1800), a spectacular 60-foot cliff. Travelers have imagined they could see such images in the rock face as cowboy boots and a Native American face.

Boaters’ imaginations are further reflected in names given to small ledges in the riverbed, including Dogleg Rock Rapid, Three Sisters Rapid, Play Wave Rapid, and Learning Curve Rapid.
Besides natural ledges, paddlers will pass vee-shaped fish traps, used for centuries by Native Americans and European settlers to channel fish into nets or baskets during their annual spawning runs.

To reach the Dan River Company from Danbury, NC, travel north on NC 8/89 past Hanging Rock Park Road. Go one mile, turn left onto Flinchum Road, and go to the end of the road.

Participants in the outing are asked to provide boat, life jacket, lunch and water, to dress in layers of quick-drying fabric and to sign a waiver.

Boat rentals are available at the Dan River Company, 336-593-2628 or http://www.danrivercompany.com/.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.
For trip information, contact trip coordinator Will Truslow at 336-547-1903 or willtruslow@hotmail.com.

For information about the Dan River Basin Association, visit http://www.danriver.org/.


Contributed by: T Butler

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

River Alert

The Dan River Basin Association and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) would like to urge paddlers to use extreme caution when paddling the Smith River between the North Bassett and Fieldale River access points.

Work has begun on the Fieldale Iron Bridge and new obstacles are now in the river that may pose a hazard to paddlers. A work bridge is being installed that will hang 6-8 feet over the river at low water. During high flow, this structure can pose as a strainer. It is advised to portage around the construction zone during generation.

VDOT officials warn that paddlers should be aware of construction materials, such as concrete blocks, in the river that may present hazards. Paddlers are also urged to pay attention to which side of the river that workers are on so that they may pass by on the opposite side for the safety of both the paddler and construction workers.

Signs notifiying paddlers and fishermen of these warnings are presently being posted at nearby river access points. As always, please practice safe paddling techniques on the river and wear a life jacket.

River Alert

The Dan River Basin Association and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) would like to urge paddlers to use extreme caution when paddling the Smith River between the North Bassett and Fieldale River access points.

Work has begun on the Fieldale Iron Bridge and new obstacles are now in the river that may pose a hazard to paddlers. A work bridge is being installed that will hang 6-8 feet over the river at low water. During high flow, this structure can pose as a strainer. It is advised to portage around the construction zone during generation.

VDOT officials warn that paddlers should be aware of construction materials, such as concrete blocks, in the river that may present hazards. Paddlers are also urged to pay attention to which side of the river that workers are on so that they may pass by on the opposite side for the safety of both the paddler and construction workers.

Signs notifiying paddlers and fishermen of these warnings are presently being posted at nearby river access points. As always, please practice safe paddling techniques on the river and wear a life jacket.

Monday, July 6, 2009

2009 Smith River Film Fest

Want to show off your hot paddling skills, showcase your favorite rapid, or laugh at funny wipeouts? Take your camera out this summer to capture the best of the Smith River! Send your paddling clips to the Dan River Basin Association for a chance to be included in the

2009 Smith River Film Fest!
Friday, September 4th, 7 p.m.
at the Rives Theater
Uptown Martinsville
Enjoy a night a the movies eating popcorn and watching short films
made by local paddlers. You can even vote for your favorites!
Awards include:
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Videos
People's Choice Video
Craziest Wipeout Video
Best Dressed Paddler
All proceeds go to the enhancement and addition of
new river access points on the Smith and Mayo Rivers.
Film clips must be no longer than 10 minutes and family friendly. Clips may be submitted via email to jdoss@danriver.org or DVDs may be mailed to DRBA PO Box 7 Collinsville VA 24078. Deadline to register is August 24th. Please be safe on the river while filming!
For more information contact 276-634-2545.
Check out this clip submitted by Andy Parker and "River Gal"!

2009 Smith River Film Fest

Want to show off your hot paddling skills, showcase your favorite rapid, or laugh at funny wipeouts? Take your camera out this summer to capture the best of the Smith River! Send your paddling clips to the Dan River Basin Association for a chance to be included in the

2009 Smith River Film Fest!
Friday, September 4th, 7 p.m.
at the Rives Theater
Uptown Martinsville
Enjoy a night a the movies eating popcorn and watching short films
made by local paddlers. You can even vote for your favorites!
Awards include:
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Videos
People's Choice Video
Craziest Wipeout Video
Best Dressed Paddler
All proceeds go to the enhancement and addition of
new river access points on the Smith and Mayo Rivers.
Film clips must be no longer than 10 minutes and family friendly. Clips may be submitted via email to jdoss@danriver.org or DVDs may be mailed to DRBA PO Box 7 Collinsville VA 24078. Deadline to register is August 24th. Please be safe on the river while filming!
For more information contact 276-634-2545.
Check out this clip submitted by Andy Parker and "River Gal"!

video

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's Just Around the Corner...

The Dick & Willie Passage is going to be here before we know it! Next spring residents and visitors will be able to enjoy 4.5 miles of paved trail passing through Martinsville and Henry County.

This month crews are working to remove the railroad tracks from the old Danville-Western Line known as the Dick & Willie Railroad. Large trucks are cutting the tracks and dragging them out in 1,000 foot segments so that they may be reused in other areas. Listen to the screech of metal on metal as the tracks gently glide away!

Ready to go for a walk?

It's Just Around the Corner...

The Dick & Willie Passage is going to be here before we know it! Next spring residents and visitors will be able to enjoy 4.5 miles of paved trail passing through Martinsville and Henry County.

This month crews are working to remove the railroad tracks from the old Danville-Western Line known as the Dick & Willie Railroad. Large trucks are cutting the tracks and dragging them out in 1,000 foot segments so that they may be reused in other areas. Listen to the screech of metal on metal as the tracks gently glide away!

Ready to go for a walk?

video


www.DanRiver.org