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Audobon Society receives 12 acres for nature preserve in Jefferson County

By Staff | Oct 28, 2016

The Potomac Valley Audobon Society held a brief ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the recent acquisition of 12 acres of land in Jefferson County.

The land was donated by the now defunct Craftworks at Cool Spring, which was a creative arts center for crafts and activities.

Now known as the Cool Spring Preserve, PVAS will establish its headquarters there and use the property for nature and conservation programming, as well as having trails that will be open to the public. The land has been designated as a nature preserve, which means it will be protected and managed primarily to preserve its natural features.

It is distinctive from a conservation standpoint because it includes portions of historic Bullskin Run and the Cool Spring Marsh.

The Marsh, which includes 18 rare plants is a very uncommon landscape feature: a Shenandoah Wet Prairie Marl Marsh. Only 100 acres of this type of marsh are known to exist in the world, and this is the only known example in West Virginia.

“I think I speak for everyone at the Potomac Valley Audubon Society when I say how thrilled we are to receive this property from Linda Case and the Board of Directors at Craftworks,” said Michael Sullivan, PVAS President. “Having a headquarters here at this Preserve will enable us to expand our environmental and conservations programs and activities for youth, families, and adults, including summer camp. In particular, we will be able to reach more people here in the southern part of Jefferson County.

Down the road we plan to establish a Nature Center with trained professionals on this property in order to foster sustainable interactions between the community and the environment.”

Jane Tabb, Jefferson County Commissioner representing the Middleway district said, “This property is a valuable resource for our children. This is a unique opportunity and a unique property. We’re doing pretty well here in Jefferson County preserving acres.”

PVAS presented a 200 page document and was one of several organizations to apply to receive the property.

“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,” said Craftworks President Linda Case. “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.”

“It makes me very happy to think of all of the fine times that will be experienced here at the Cool Spring Preserve,” said Sullivan. “Today, tomorrow, next month, next year, and well into the future.”

The Cool Spring Reserve will be holding an open house on Nov. 13, from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit their website, www.potomacaudubon.org.