PURCELLVILLE, Va. (October 24, 2017) — Hundreds of people came to the Chapman DeMary Trail on Sunday, October 22 for the third annual Hail to the Trail event—Purcellville’s Green Expo, hosted by the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee. Families enjoyed a beautiful fall day in the woods exploring the forest and learning about nature from representatives of 20 local organizations while listening to live music by Willie White. The Town of Purcellville, the Virginia Department of Forestry, The Nature Generation, and Dominion Energy announced several awards and recognitions at the beginning of the event.
From 1 to 4 p.m., kids of all ages had a chance to learn about creek critters, streams, native wildlife, trees, pollinators, forests, monarchs, recycling, fire safety, leave no trace, bluebirds, and the habitat of the Chapman DeMary Trail. Many enjoyed using nature to create art, playing a nature memory game, trying to identify seeds, and identifying animals by their fur and other characteristics. The Wildlife Ambassadors had live animals, including a rescued screech owl. Four guided nature hikes were held throughout the event, led by Kyle Dingus of the Virginia Department of Forestry, Nancy Reaves who volunteers with The Nature Generation and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Paul Miller and Phil Daley representing the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, and Carol Ivory with the Loudoun County Tree Stewards.
Purcellville Town Council Member and Council Liaison for the Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, Karen Jimmerson, welcomed everyone to the Chapman DeMary Trail and introduced Mayor Kwasi Fraser. Mayor Fraser announced the town’s participation in the nationwide Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and shared the Town’s annual Arbor Day proclamation. Fraser recognized three groups for their work at the Chapman DeMary Trail in the past year: Girl Scout Troop 70-17 for building and installing a lending library at the trail; the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints for work to clean and enhance the habitat; and Boy Scout Troop 961 for their continuous support of the trail and for answering the call to move tables and footbridges back into place after flood waters moved them.
Mayor Fraser introduced Kyle Dingus, with the Virginia Department of Forestry, who presented the Town with the Tree City U.S.A designation, noting that this is the 10th year that Purcellville has received this special recognition for their efforts. Next, Amy Marasco, president and founder of The Nature Generation, thanked the local organizations that support the trail and presented four individual awards. The first was recognition was to Girl Scout Troop 70-17 for the lending library at the trail. She then announced the winners of the McGranaghan Stewardship Award—an award this non-profit gives each year to individuals and/or groups that demonstrate stewardship of the Chapman DeMary Trail. This year, the winners were Patti Yarbrough for her dedication and enthusiasm for the trail and helping educate people about pollinators and monarchs there; and Boy Scout Troop 961 for all their efforts to enhance the trail and be good stewards of the 10-acre habitat so all can use it for environmental education and recreation. Ms. Marasco made a surprise award and dedication to Amie Ware in honor of her commitment and efforts to establish and enhance the pollinator meadow at the Chapman DeMary Trail by proclaiming the natural habitat on the Chapman DeMary Trail as the Amie Ware Pollinator Meadow. This award was made in partnership with The Nature Generation, Loudoun Valley High School, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville. The final presentation was made by Tim Sargeant with Dominion Energy. The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation granted $25,000 to The Nature Generation for a special project at the trail to help improve access to the habitat.
After the presentations, Mayor Fraser invited kids to help plant three trees at the trail. Mayor Fraser planted a maple tree while Vice Mayor Ogelman and Council Members Cool and Bledsoe enlisted the help of others to plant a second maple and a swamp white oak from Purcellville Southern States. Another planting was held in the pollinator meadow later in the day, led by The Nature Generation.
Thank you to the organizations and groups that helped make Hail to the Trail a success, including: Audubon Naturalist Society, Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, Boy Scout Troop 163, Boy Scout Troop 961, Catoctin Scenic River Committee, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1420 and Cadette Troop 6287, Girl Scout Service Unit 70-6, Girl Scout Troop 70-17, Girl Scout Troop 70003, Keep Loudoun Beautiful, Loudoun County Tree Stewards, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Loudoun Valley High School, The Nature Generation, Purcellville Arts Council, Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, Sengpiehl Insurance Group, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Wildlife Ambassadors, and singer Willie White.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is managed through a partnership among the Town of Purcellville, The Nature Generation, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and Loudoun Valley High School. Hail to the Trail—Purcellville’s Green Expo, is hosted by the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee. See photos of the event on the Hail to the Trail Facebook page and learn more about the trail on the Chapman DeMary Trail Facebook page.
(photo collage attached)