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Audubon sponsoring walking tour in Clarke County

By Staff | Aug 14, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is sponsoring a walking tour of Shenandoah University’s new Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield, in Clarke County, Virginia.

The tour will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 1. It will start at 9 a.m. and last until about noon. It will be led by the site’s manager, Gene Lewis.

The tour will be free and anyone with an interest is welcome to join, including families with children. However, space will be limited to only 20 people so pre-registration is required. Easy registration is available on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org.

Shenandoah University assumed stewardship of this 195-acre property in 2013. Under the university’s guidance, the property is transitioning from a former golf course into an outdoor classroom for the university community and general public.

The property lends itself to both historical and environmental studies. Historically, it is the site of the July 18, 1964 Battle of Cool Spring and also contains traces of the Native Americans who lived in the Shenandoah Valley and the European immigrants who settled in the area. Environmentally, it contains a rich, diverse mixture of habitats, plants, animals and geology.

The September 1 walking tour will cover about 2.5 miles. Mr. Lewis will discuss the recent history of the property, its current state, and the challenges the University faces as it attempts to restore the land to a more native habitat. The tour will explore the river, steams, forest, rocky slopes and meadows. The walk is a mostly flat, paved trail with one steep hill about mid point.

Participants should wear comfortable shoes, bring water and bug spray. If there are heavy rains the hike will be rescheduled at a later date.

The property’s address is 1400 Parker Lane, Bluemont, Virginia. Directions and more information about the site is available on the site’s website at www.su.edu/cool-spring.

For more information about the walking tour, contact PVAS’s Debbie Maiorano at 540-535-5145 or debbiemm58@aol.com.

Anyone wishing to carpool to the site may meet Debbie at the Food Lion parking lot on Route 51 off I-81 in Inwood promptly at 8 a.m.