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CraftWorks donates Cool Spring property to Audubon Society

By Staff | Oct 14, 2016

It was recently announced that the nonprofit CraftWorks at Cool Spring organization has donated its property in southern Jefferson County to the Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS).

The property, which encompasses 12 acres of fields and woodland and several buildings, is located at 1469 Lloyd Road, about six miles southwest of Charles Town. It has been used by CraftWorks as a center for arts and crafts education and activities related to nature and conservation.

PVAS will establish its headquarters there and use the property for nature and conservation programming. It has also designated the land as a nature preserve, which means it will be protected and managed primarily to preserve its natural features and its flora and fauna. It will be called the Cool Spring Preserve. It will include trails that will be open to the public.

CraftWorks transferred the property title to PVAS last Friday. PVAS will begin occupying the property during October. It plans to hold a formal dedication ceremony at the end of the month.

Linda Case, the President of CraftWorks, said, “The CraftWorks Board searched nearly a year to find a superlative nonprofit with a similar mission to take over this very special and rare landscape. We looked nationally, regionally and locally for an organization we could count on to use and grow these assets for maximum benefit to our community. PVAS excelled at every stage of the arduous process we put the applicants through. We are so excited about their plans and know the community will be as well. They are an impressive organization.”

Michael Sullivan, the president of PVAS, said, “The acquisition of this property is transformative for our organization. We are very grateful to CraftWorks for this wonderful gift. It will allow PVAS to have a headquarters in Jefferson County and a base from which we can expand our nature education efforts through new school programs, summer day camps and programs aimed at home schools, scouts and other audiences. We look forward to reaching more children, families and adults with additional year-round programming at this new location.”

The main building on the former CraftWorks property is 2,000-square-foot structure that was constructed as a studio in 2011. Custom designed, it is regarded as one of the most energy efficient buildings in West Virginia. There is also a small barn and a cottage.

The property is distinctive from a conservation standpoint because it abuts Bullskin Run and Cool Spring Marsh. The Marsh is a very rare landscape feature that is the only known West Virginia example of a Shenandoah Wet Prairie Marsh. The land supports a wide variety of plant and animal life.

CraftWorks at Cool Spring is a nonprofit organization founded by Linda Case in 2008. Its mission has been to inspire creativity, connection and conservation in the community through fun and educational experiences in art and nature. It has served thousands with programs for all ages in a unique environmental setting.

PVAS, also a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1982. It is a chapter of the National Audubon Society and draws its members from Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Maryland. It currently has about 800 members.

PVAS manages three other nature preserves in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle: the Yankauer and Stauffer’s Marsh preserves in Berkeley County and the Eidolon preserve in Morgan County. The addition of the Cool Spring Preserve will bring the total amount of nature preserve land managed by the organization to 512 acres.