nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow Environment arrow Katie Demeria arrow Woodstock

| 0

Environmental organization sees new leadership, expands programs


By Katie Demeria

WOODSTOCK -- As Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River prepares for new leadership, former Executive Director Leslie Mitchell says she steps down at a time when the organization's impact on the community is at its highest.

Mitchell has served as executive director since 2004, and is now planning to explore other options. Though she said she has enjoyed seeing the organization grow under her leadership, the executive director position is administratively heavy -- she is hoping to pursue something more hands-on.

"Executive directors of nonprofits don't usually set out to be executive directors," she said.

Valley native John Eckman will replace Mitchell. Eckman has a thorough background in environmental advocacy, she said.

The organization has seen immense growth over the past 10 years. Mitchell said, for a long time, Friends of the North Fork worked from donation to donation.

"We're at a point, now, where we can think about expanding staff and expanding the organization as a whole," she said.

One of the most recent efforts the organization has made is partnering with the Interstate Commission of the Potomac River Basin to assess and monitor algae conditions in the Shenandoah River.

Algae can have a serious impact on the condition of the river and its streams. Many volunteers have experience with this type of monitoring, and they will now use those skills to assess the water's health.

The education program has particularly grown over recent years, Mitchell said, and this summer it will expand even further.

The group offers North Fork Exploration workshops to local teachers so they can learn about the river and pass that information along to their students.

This year, they are partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to bring the teachers to the bay and kayak to the foundation's educational facility.

Barbara German teaches at Turner Ashby High School in Rockingham County. She teaches special education, co-teaching biology and earth science classes -- she said the program has been invaluable in what she can offer her students.

"I've learned a great deal, and it fits in so nicely because many of the students in this area live on farms, and what they do on their farms impacts the quality of the Shenandoah River, so it's really important that they learn what they do here impacts water in other places as well," German said.

Friends of the North Fork is planning on offering that education directly to local students, as well. They are hosting workshops in July that will teach them about conservation efforts as well as allow them to participate in river activities like canoeing and fishing.

This year they are introducing a new workshop for students in first, second or third grades. Usually the programs are designed for those in grades six through 12 -- the new workshop will teach younger kids about activities like worm composting systems and recycling.

"They're really excited for it," Mitchell said. "They're going to have the youngsters do a watershed play and all kinds of fun water related activities."

To learn more about the summer programs, visit the Friends of the North Fork's website at www.fnfsr.org.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.














Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Brad Fauber Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pet of the Week Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review


News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2014 Virginia Press Association Grand Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com