Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Above Photos:
Top: Blue Ridge Regional Park
Bottom: Cindy Holcomb & Rhonda Krafchin from REI present me with $5,000 check for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) is much more than a great store to get all your outdoor goods, it is an organization that directly contributes to promote conservation and outdoor recreation.

Today REI donated $5,000 to help the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority develop Blue Ridge Regional Park, near Bluemont Virginia in western Loudoun County. This is a 165 acre property on the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains that we are developing into a youth group camping site. In June our first group of scouts camped out on this beautiful mountain wilderness location. With the donation from REI we will build an amphitheater and start the process of building a trail network on this property.

The site is both beautiful and rustic. If you are looking for running water, electricity and flush toilets, try one of our family campgrounds at Bull Run or Pohick Bay. Blue Ridge Regional Park is for youth groups that want to have a real wilderness experience. It has three camping areas that can each accommodate a group of 20-30. There are fire rings, picnick tables, and porta-potties. We will soon build a shelter using an old stone fire pace from a previous house as the focal point of the shelter. The camp ground is available for organized groups by appointment only. If your group is interested in a great back country camping experience call 703-352-5900.

REI's contributions are not limited to Blue Ridge Regional Park. They have been one of the most consistent contributing organizations for NVRPA for over a decade. In June they organized volunteers to build bridges and blaze areas of trail as part of the Potomac Heritage Nation Scenic Trail, on NVRPA easements and land. Last year they contributed to projects at both Potomac Overlook Regional Park and Bull Run Regional Park, and the list goes on, and on, and on... REI has made conservation a key part of their mission. They understand that people need places to camp, climb, bike, paddle and hike, if there is going to continue to be a market for outdoor gear... An incredibly enlightened perspective.

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