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State Parks Director Joe Elton

It’s the economy, stupid – now more than ever

James Carville coined the phrase “it’s the economy, stupid” in Bill Clinton’s successful
1992 campaign against President George H. W. Bush. In 1972 President Nixon ran on a
slogan “Now more than ever.” Strange to combine these two well known quotes?
Probably not. In the spring of 2008 there were rumblings that America was on course for
the worst economy since the Great Depression and last spring the World Bank called the
world’s economic situation the worst since the Great Depression. By any measure, these
are difficult times.

State Parks has seen its General Fund support cut from $18,023,956 to $15,761,292 – a
$2,262,664 reduction! Every area of operations has been hit, but we have avoided
closing parks—so far.

As you may have heard, Governor Kaine proposed a package of additional budget cuts
and tax increases to balance his proposed budget. The Governor-elect and the House of
Delegates leadership have indicated that his proposal is dead on arrival.

Let me share a few facts that may be helpful to us as the new Governor and legislature
consider their budget strategies:

Based on a widely accepted economic model developed by the National Park System,
Virginia State Parks are a great economic stimulator. If you consider the state income
taxes, state sales taxes and the local sales taxes that are collected from park visitors, that
are generated by our state parks’ operating budget and the impact of capital outlay
spending in state parks we’re generating $17.7 million in taxes at a time when we are
getting only $15.7 million in taxpayer supported general funds. That same economic
model puts the total economic impact of state parks on Virginia’s state and local
economies at about $181.7 million – 11.5 times more than what is invested. For these
reasons parks are needed now, more than ever.

If we were just an investment the Commonwealth was making to get a return on the
dollar – we’d be a great investment. But actually, we’re a system dedicated to providing
world class outdoor recreation opportunities to enhance the quality of life for Virginians
and those who travel to Virginia. We’re part of a healthy lifestyle for Virginia families at
a time when obesity, diabetes and attention disorders are having record negative impacts
on the health of our citizens and we’re preserving natural and cultural treasures for future
generations in an era when more open space and forested areas are being lost to
development than any time in history. And, for these reasons parks are needed now,
more than ever.

How are we doing?

Visitation is up 4% over last year, camping is up 8%, volunteerism is up slightly to more

than 235,500 hours with a total value of more than $5 million placed on that labor.
Revenues are up 11% over last year. Total Reservations for the year are up 5% over last
year bringing total revenue to more than $8 million for the first time in history. On line
reservations grew to 35% - a 5% increase over last year. Social networking is growing
dramatically – 570 blogs were posted, 2,152 fans on facebook, 7,320 followers on twitter
and nearly 11,000 eNewsletter subscribers. 11,681 events were listed in our database and
reported on our information station kiosks, enewsletter, twitter and virginiaoutdoors. All
of this would suggest that we have had a successful and busy year., & Welcome Kits

If you haven’t visited yet, please do. In fact, I urge everyone to
join VAFP as an associate member (free) and to encourage all your friends and family to
do the same. I also urge everyone to visit and to become a
regular provider of social content. Both of these sites were designed to provide dynamic
content for park users and to help us recruit friends, volunteers, donations and support.
Imagine how effective Johnny and Jo Finch of the VAFP will be on our behalf if they can
report thousands of members joining VAFP in support of state and national parks in
Virginia. Our friends Fred and Luanne Lochner at Imperial Multimedia in Baraboo,
Wisconsin have done a great job designing these sites to be effective. They have
partnered with VAFP and Dominion to put us first in the nation in the use of touch screen
information stations and unlimited World Wide Web support for our programs. No other
state is so well poised to serve their customers.

Government Solutions Group of Pasadena, California have become great allies in

providing our new Welcome Kits. In addition to providing 250,000 kits for free, we’re
on our way to earning $20,000 for successfully distributing the kits. GSG also helped us
partner with Odwalla in a partnership that will allow us to purchase $23,577 worth of
trees in 2010.


It is essential that I remind everyone that VAFP has become a very effective advocate for
Virginia State Parks. They have influenced our funding and staffing growth during the
good times and have helped hold down the cuts during the bad. It was an honor being
with them at their Fall Conference at James River State Park and to watch them bestow
their Legislator of the Year Award on Delegate Watkins Abbitt for his efforts to fund the
construction of High Bridge Trail State Park. Today we have 20 miles open thanks to his

efforts and by next spring we expect to have all 33 miles completed and only the iconic
High Bridge itself will keep us from having the trail surface finished. That is expected to
be done sometime next summer, if all goes well.

The past few weeks have been both exciting and sad as we have said good bye to some
great state parks staff representing 213 years of service:

Jim Kelly – 38 years

Barbara Jackson – 37 years
Glenn Moorer – 35 years
Gene Stone – 33 years
Goldie Taylor – 29 years
Joyce Barden – 16 years
Sunder Bala – 25 years

These folks will be sorely missed and have left an indelible mark on the history of
Virginia State Parks. They have left some big shoes to fill.

As you will see in the following, very voluminous report – all our parks have been busy
this year. Below are a few of the many accomplishments of 2009. Thanks to our
dedicated staff and volunteers for making them possible.

• Attendance through November is 6,992,407. This represents a 4% increase over
same period 2008.

Interpretive and Educational Programs

• The E&HP Section continued to encourage parks to emphasize the Children and
Nature movement. Individual parks were encouraged to:
o Adapt current interpretive / education programs and other experience
opportunities to immerse children and their families in state park natural
o Continue and expand Division of State Parks partnerships with National Park
Service, Virginia Association for Parks, and other nature-based organizations
that reconnect children to nature.
o Implement short-term actions recommended by the Division of State Parks
Children and Nature Working Group and approved by the State Parks
• Most CIN Working Group short-term recommendations were implemented, and
many parks showed significant accomplishments in adapting existing programs
and developing new activities that focused on involving children and their
families with nature. Cumberland Gap and Holliday Lake excelled in
programmatic collaboration with the National Park Service.

• Initiated planning for Division of State Parks to participate in a state-wide
commemoration of the Civil War being facilitated by the legislated
“Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission”. Facilitated a
working group to propose, develop, and guide state park efforts; identified three
levels of opportunities:
o Participate in state and local initiatives
o Develop and present state-wide activities.
o Develop and present park activities.
• The working group continues to develop activities for implementation during
• The section staff worked with other park staff and the Virginia Association for
Parks to coordinate a partnership with Macy’s that promoted Virginia’s state
parks in northern Virginia; over $40,000 was donated by Macy’s to fund park
projects, including over $30,000 earmarked to develop a prototype exhibit design.
• An Interpretive Management Handbook draft was revived: individual chapter
drafts were edited, reviewed by I&VS Working Group, two new chapters were
written, and the document was formatted into final draft and delivered to State
Park Directorate for final review and approval.
• Developed a long and short-range interpretation/visitor experience planning
program proposal for Virginia State Parks; included planning program description
in the Interpretive Management Handbook draft submitted to Division Directorate
for review and approval.
• Researched and drafted Visitor Experience Planning Guideline – Virginia State
Parks. The document describes a general process that can be adapted for any level
of interpretation and visitor experience planning and it includes a reference
manual for planning facilitators.
• Began implementation of a long-range interpretation/visitor experience planning
program for Virginia State Parks: prioritized parks needing planning and listed the
top 20; scheduled workshops for 8 parks (15 workshops); facilitated 5 of those
workshops as pilot projects.
• Began implementation of interpretive wayside exhibits / signs program that
projects a recognizable Division of State Parks image: presented proposed sign
standards at Park Managers Meeting; initiated pilot sign design projects at Bear
Creek Lake; secured services of Office of Graphic Communications to finalize
design; tested design standards with Sign Shop.
• Identified and described a proposed Advanced Interpretive Skills Training
Program including five courses of an “in-house” competency certification
program for 1500 hour and salaried state park staff; patterned after National
Association of Interpretation Certification and National Park Service Competency
Programs, the courses are:
o Managing Your Interpretive Program: Strategies for Park Managers and
Interpretive Program Managers
o Developing Visions and Actions: Planning Your Interpretive Program
o Connecting the Visitor to Your Site: Personal Interpretation of Natural and
Cultural Resources

o Capturing Your Message in Media and Facilities: Designing for Visitor
o Revelations through Words: Interpretive Writing
• Budget constraints prohibited implementation of first course in 2009 as planned.
• Identified project to develop prototype exhibit structure design that can be easily
and inexpensively replicated by park staff or local contractors for use as: traveling
exhibit; permanent “discovery” station; or interim exhibit with changeable
components in new visitor center spaces until permanent exhibits can be acquired.
Worked to secure corporate funding (Macy’s) to implement project in spring
• Worked with Don Byrne to develop an online (Agency Intranet) mechanism for
sharing environmental and historic programs information.
• Revived dormant Gateways Sign project to plan, print, and install site-specific
orientation signs at seven state parks: reviewed project with Public
Communications Office and Sign Shop; edited text with parks staff; prepared
revisions for delivery to PCO for final design to be delivered to Sign Shop for
Volunteer Services
• Total volunteer hours of 235,536, slightly more than last year. This represents a
service value approaching $5 million and the equivalent of 147 FTEs.
• Made improvements to the on-line application process in a number of areas:
o Added required fields in application to alleviate problem of insufficient
contact information on new applications submitted on-line.
o Rolling Block - Samaritan was tasked to develop a “rolling” thirty day
window of access for users. Users can change their hours within thirty
days of the current existing date only. This is an attempt to prevent
continual changes in data as far back as two years past. This office has the
capability to make any necessary adjustments.
o YCC Application – Applicants must apply on-line effective 1 January
2010. The database will also allow individuals to submit required
references on-line.
o Camp Host Application – Applicants can now apply on-line and in the
first quarter of the next calendar year they will be able to see monthly
vacancies for each park on-line. In this case, we will continue to accept
snail-mail applications.
• Due to budget reductions, we drastically cut back the Youth Corps program with
13 Youth Conservations Corps programs (residential) and 3 Youth Service Corps
programs (day/at risk). We received 702 applications for the 130 YCC slots,
which amply underscores the visibility and success of our programs. This year we
successfully used crews at multiple parks during the three week session to help
meet the park demands for the programs.
• We received a $150,000.00 grant for the 2010 programs at our 10 Gateway parks,
Belle Isle State Park, Caledon Natural Area, Chippokes Plantation State Park,
First Landing State Park, Kiptopeke State Park, Leesylvania State Park, Mason

Neck State Park, Shenandoah River State Park, Westmoreland State Park and
York River State Park.
• The National Park Service, Petersburg National Battlefield, will give the program
$40,000 to $50,000 to fund two sessions at its location.
• The Youth Opportunity Office in Virginia Beach plans to provide the necessary
monies to establish an YSC program at First Landing for local youth.
• The Office hired a part time grant writer to pursue grant opportunities for the
Youth Corps and volunteer program. Many Foundations have suspended funding
due to the economy (specifically drastic losses in the performance of their
invested funds).
• The Volunteer Office continues to work with park supporters to foster new
Friends of groups in the community. This year seven new groups were started and
of those five were sustained. Three new groups are in process and should be
functional by the first quarter of 2010.
• Thanks to the Virginia Association for Parks’ partnership with Imperial
Multimedia all Friends of groups can now have a web presence.
• The Virginia Association for Parks has improved their website and set up fund
raising opportunities for a number of Virginia State Park projects. They have also
established levels of membership to increase fundraising and adding a no cost
membership opportunity will broaden supporters.
• More than 130 hosts and host couples serving in 37 different Camp and Park Host
positions for a total of 53,000 hours, up 18% over 2008. Grayson Highlands
added a Retail Host position and Chippokes added both a Maintenance Host and a
Visitor Services Host.
• Virginia State Parks and their supporting Friends organizations will partner with
Honor Their Service to make free weekend retreats available for wounded
military personnel and their immediate families. Honor Their Service is a 501c3
non-profit organization formed in 2008 by military wives. Their mission is to
provide assistance and comfort to wounded veterans and their families, support
their efforts to live more productive and independent lives and assure all military
veterans that their sacrifices have not been forgotten. Once operational, we plan
to expand to other non-profit military groups that have the same mission as Honor
Their Service, E.g., Soldiers Angles and Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund.

Park Revenues
• Overall fiscal year 2009 park revenues recovered from the negative effects of high
gasoline prices from the summer of 2008 and posted gains. This trend continues
into the current fiscal year, with nice revenue gains in most categories. The
pattern of revenue collection shows a steady increase in most revenue types for
the calendar year, showing that Virginians choose visits to state parks as a value
in difficult economic times. The only area that continues to lag is in conference
and restaurant sale; both due to lower group sales as agencies and companies cut
their budgets.

• Park revenues continue to play an important role in buffering the effects of cuts in
general funding. Revenue (adjusted for deferred revenue) for the first five months
of FY2010 is $7,196,473, which is an 11% increase over same period 2009.

Merchandise and Food Programs

• With restrictions on funding for travel and training in place, the Division of State
Parks was able to find private funding for the annual staff merchandise training
and trade show. The show was hosted by the Virginia Beach Gift Show, with full
reimbursement for all travel and training costs.
• The annual State Parks Buyers Guide was again produced and distributed to all
parks. The guide was produced by the Business Management Working Group
(formerly the Merchandise Working Group) and was edited extensively this year
to streamline the recommended products and vendors.

POS System
• All 120+ sales terminals were upgraded with new computers during the spring of
• New features were developed and added that allow “blind closeout” and product
entry via the sales terminals. Both of these options can significantly simplify these
processes for many parks.

Marketing/Social Media
• Increased Camping and RV Shows to a total of 4, including a Raleigh, N.C. show
(North Carolina provides more out-of-state visitors than any other state)
• Added additional shows to market to female heads of household (the decision
makers for most family vacations): 2 Healthy Lifestyle Expos and the Southern
Women’s Show in Richmond.
• We redeveloped the old Trails Passport promotion into a new internet supported
program called Trails Quest. The changes to this program are already producing
an increase in participants and the number of awards given to visitors for hiking in
different parks.
• Developed and staffed an exhibit at the Virginia State Fair in its new location in
Caroline County.
• A pilot program using coupons to encourage return visits at our swim areas was
• The first edition of the State Parks Welcome Kit was received and distributed to
parks in early June.
• We are cooperating members in the Fish Virginia First initiative to promote a
fishing trail and opportunities to fish in Virginia.
• Placed framed pictures and banners in the State Corporation Commission Café in
Richmond to promote State Parks.
• Expanded our Buy an RV/Camper and get 2 FREE NIGHTS of CAMPING at a
Virginia State Park program with partnerships with over 20 dealers in Virginia.
• Developed support material to enter the Bridal Show Market, to include, banners,
desk top display, brochures and moving pictures.

• 570 blog posts with more than 82,000 page views and 25 bloggers.
• 2,152 Fans of the Virginia State Parks Facebook Page.
• 7,320 followers on Twitter with 9,700 “tweets” or posts including all events in the
database ten days in advance.
• 10,949 subscribers to the Virginia State Parks weekly enewsletter.
• 11,681 events listed in the database and reported on the kiosks, enewsletter and

Reservation Center
• 74,053 reservations (up 5% over 2008) made representing $8 million (up 8% over
2008) and 187,000 reserved nights (up 7% over 2008).
• On line reservations represent 35% of total reservations (30% in 2008)
• The reservation center processed 32,000 reservations (flat compared to 2008) and
handled 93,000 calls (also flat compared to 2008). They managed this service
level with a reduction of $66,000 in wages for the Center.
• Implemented a new $5 per visit fee to help offset budget reductions. This fee
replaced the $4 web transaction fee for online transactions.
• Improvements to ReserveAmerica software will allow use of promo codes so we
can offer web and call center special discounts.
• Improvements to ReserveAmerica software will enable us to run accounts for
groups and link group reservations together for tracking charges and ease of
moving or changing the reservations as a group.

Logistics and Sign Shop

• Transitioned staff duties at Sign Shop and Logistics Support Center in response to
staffing shortages and pending end of calendar year retirements of Goldie Taylor
and Joyce Barden.
• Improved warehouse Inventory/Billing Program with Chip Kramer to better refine
the existing program to meet our needs.
• Improved ATV process to charge parks for Logistics shipments monthly as
opposed to semi-annually to improve park budgeting and processing by accounts
• Changed item costing in inventory/billing program to an average cost to more
fairly distribute pricing changes.
• Purchased upgraded design software and provided extensive training to Sign Shop
staff resulting in a better understanding of equipment/software capability. The
tangible result has been significant improvement in output quality of graphics on
interpretive signage and special use banners. This was accomplished in light of
old equipment nearing end of life and service support. Staff continually overcome
sign equipment limitations, including equipment failure and repair. Upgrades
were also made to software and hardware on design station computers to improve
production efficiency and to reduce material waste during production runs.
• Developed an in-house monthly sign production tracking system.

• In process of redesigning the electronic filing of produced sign jobs by park and
by type/theme for ready access to repeat and or modify as needed in the future.
• Striving to speed up the ordering, receiving and efficient delivery of goods from
Logistics to the parks.
• Striving to maintain/improve quality of cabin amenities and janitorial supplies
based on field staff input.
• Worked with VITA and Verizon to repair a chronic internet connection problem
being experienced for a number of years. Direct result of the repair provided a
higher connection speed (to 3meg download speed) and a reduced monthly cost
for DSL. Additionally, connectivity throughout the building was increased with
the installation of a direct access point in the sign shop. Also worked with Ann
Zahn to establish a wireless remote antenna in the shop yard to increase
connectivity of district offices and park shop offices dependent on our wireless
service through the warehouse.
• Worked with Sharon Ewing to accept some historical sign making equipment,
tools and signs from eras gone by. With the assistance of Ann Zahn, sorted
through pallets of old files that had been stored in the warehouse for nearly 20
years. Those deemed important for historical value have been sent to Sharon
Ewing to make final determination of worth and safe keeping.
• Reorganized office space, cleaning up and removing surplus equipment and
furniture and putting all metal storage for sign making in the sign shop.
• Established a secure storage area in the Warehouse for abandoned and unclaimed
property as required until final disposition with State Treasury requirements.
• The sign shop produced 5,539 metal signs, 107 banners, 826 stickers and 679

State Park Fees

• A new “Overnight Transaction Fee” was enacted as an emergency measure to
increase park revenues in response to budget cuts. The new fee is expected to
generate over $400,000 annually.
• The annual review and republication of fees was conducted.

Private Concessions and Partnerships

• Contracts were re-solicited for the boat rental concessions at Claytor Lake, Smith
Mountain Lake, and Occoneechee state parks.

Operations Support
• Classified position hiring: 14 Filled positions. Maintained process for up to 10
active vacancies and tracking a high of 42 vacancies.
• February 2009 Law Enforcement Pool prequalifying test for a total of 204
applicants on April 13/14.
• Maintained application pool status for 38 Chief Ranger and 64 Park Ranger
candidates through September. The Aug 2009 Pool was not tested because of
budgetary issues. Maintained Pool records for 298 Chief Ranger and 901 Park
Ranger applicants.

• Processed 1,651 Seasonal and 1500-Hr staff PAW forms as follows: New Hire
473; ReHire/ReActivate 300; Resignation/Separation 709; Terminations 39;
InBand Adjustment/RoleChg 93; Recognition Bonuses 31; Location
change/miscellaneous 6.
• 73 Wage Ads Processed for Seasonal Staff (number of ads and papers placed).
• Processed paperwork for 169 Crew, Supervisors and Interns for 2009 Youth
Conservation Corps. Processing includes verifying documentation and production
of PAW forms from hiring documents. In addition, there were 20 that were
partially processed and then either withdrew or did not respond.
• 6,563 Your Comments Count surveys processed as of November 30. This
includes logging into database, numbering, copying, mailing copies to parks and
sending out thank-you postcards to customers who responded
• Mailed 9,135 Parks Information Packets
• 157 Telecommunications Service Requests processed
• 143 Computer ID requests

Customer Service
• Your Comments Count data continues to indicate a high level of satisfaction with
Virginia State Parks. 89.5% of responses were in the excellent and good
• We continued to distribute, collect, and analyze our Your Comments Count
customer service survey. Survey results this year supported our perceptions that
people were recreating closer to home.
• Radford University students developed and delivered a proposal to improve our
customer service programs as part of a partnership between DSP and the

Resource Management
• GOB Trail Improvements Project:
o approximately $1.3 million expended out of $2 million,
o 38 projects at 24 parks,
o 13 projects complete (closed out)
• State Park Trail GIS database updated
• New River Trail State Park - Foster Falls Village listed on the Virginia Register of
Historic Places in September. Recommended for listing on the National Register.
• Research – Collecting Permits – issued 36, does not include multi year permits
• Prescribed Burns conducted at Belle Isle, Hungry Mother, James River, Natural
Tunnel, Smith Mountain Lake, and Staunton River State Parks
• Forrest Atwood, District 7 Resource Specialist, met the DCR requirements to
qualify as a DCR Burn Boss
• During 2009-2010 hunting season, managed deer hunts have or will be held at 18
parks: Belle Isle, Caledon, Chippokes Plantation, Claytor Lake, Douthat, False
Cape, Grayson Highlands, James River, Kiptopeke, Lake Anna, Leesylvania (new
Jan 2010), Mason Neck, Occoneechee (new 2009), Pocahontas, Shenandoah
River, Smith Mountain Lake, Staunton River, and York River.

• Environmental Impact Reports prepared for 2 new state park acquisitions:
Mayo River in Henry County, and Biscuit Run tract in Albemarle County
• Master Plans: 5 year updates approved for Bear Creek Lake, Hungry Mother,
Kiptopeke, Natural Tunnel, Sailors Creek, and Wilderness Road; approval of
amendment to the Occoneechee Master Plan; approved plan for the Southwest
Virginia Museum; began process for Middle Peninsula park
• Resource Management Plans: Approach for defining management units has been
modified to better address the “Desired Future Condition” of a park site. A park
will be delineated into 3 categories: undeveloped areas, unique management
areas, and developed areas. Within these categories, ecosystem management
units will be defined and prescriptions developed to restore or maintain that
ecosystem. Pilot parks have been selected in each district as follows: Kiptopeke,
Caledon, Sky Meadows, Bear Creek Lake, Staunton River, Douthat, and Hungry
• Green Challenge - Breakdown for State Parks (based on responses received from
parks and individuals):
o Through use of video or teleconference: number of in person meetings
avoided – 69, number of travel miles avoided – 11,283
o Number of trips avoided by employee carpooling – 1,038
o Number of days of telecommuting or commuted to work any way other than
driving car solo – 1,544
• Kicked off the Division’s first ever Park Ranger Intern Program with two interns
this past summer, one assigned to Natural Tunnel and the other at Hungry Mother.
The Intern Program Committee performed mid season and end of season
evaluations with the interns and Park Managers from the respective parks to
evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the program. In process of recruiting two
more first year interns to begin next spring. Last year’s interns will start year two
this spring. The Intern Program committee developed a Career web page link to
this program and career opportunities in general on our DCR website.
• Coordinated with staff at James River State Park providing cost of tuition and
travel expenses to host swift water rescue training (technician and boat operator)
for recertification as well as initial certification for a number of staff at New River
Trail State Park, James River State Park and one at High Bridge State Park.
• Conducted the second annual Regionalized Canoe Paddler Workshops.
• Completed the second annual Regionalized Fire Refresher and Work Capacity
• Outfitted the remaining Parks with STARS radio equipment and provided
appropriate user training. Began Phase III upgrades and additional user training in
December for staff in parks in State Police Divisions 1 and 5.
• Worked on receiving grant money and permission to send David Collett and
Joshua Ellington to year 2 of the National Association of State Parks Leadership
program in Spring 2010. They completed year one in 2008.
• Total 25,643 Hours Training Hours from October 2008 until September 2009.
This year’s training hours are approximately 35% lower from the last two years,

due to reduction in training dollars spent this year. Customer Service 1466 Hours;
Leadership and Strategic Planning 26 Hours; Computer and Software Related 307
Hours; Interpersonal Communication Related 56 Hours; Legal Compliance and
Occupational Safety Related 5209 Hours; Managerial and Supervisory Skills
Related 765 Hours; New Employee Orientation 2014 Hours; Law
Enforcement/STARS Related 6317 Hours; Other Professional Skills Related 3461
Hours; Concessions, Merchandise & Recreational Equip. Rentals 638 Hours;
Technical Processes, M&O, Power Equip. & Trade Skills 5384 Hours.

Law Enforecement
• The mock assessment for accreditation by the Virginia Law Enforcement
Professional Standards Commission took place in November. We continue to
work on proofs and the final assessment will tak place February 16-18, 2010.
• General Orders Manual has been re-written and reissued.
• Four chief rangers graduated from the academy:
Daniel Lafon – Leesylvania
Daniel Jordan – Kiptopeke
Brad Ramsey – Westmoreland
James Young – First Landing

• Virginia Recreation and Parks Society Awards
o Best Promotional Award for Electronic Media – Enews Letter
o Best Promotional Award for Specialty Piece – Promotional Banners
o Best New Program – GPS Activities in State Parks
o Best New Special Event – Shufer/Firehawk Tour
o Best New Facility – Belle Isle Visitor Center

• Reserve America Awards

Top 100 Family Campground Claytor Lake State Park- Dublin, VA
Grayson Highlands State Park - Mouth of Wilson, VA
Kiptopeke State Park- Cape Charles, VA
New River Trail State Park- Foster Falls, VA
Occoneechee State Park- Clarksville, VA
Pocahontas State Park- Chesterfield, VA
Amazing Spots False Cape State Park- Virginia Beach, VA
Grayson Highlands State Park - Mouth of Wilson, VA
Natural Tunnel State Park- Duffield, VA
Westmoreland State Park- Montross, VA
Biking Trails Douthat State Park- Millboro, VA
New River Trail State Park- Foster Falls, VA
Staunton River State Park-Scottsburg, VA
York River State Park- Williamsburg, VA
Bird Watching Spots Belle Isle State Park- Lancaster, VA
Caledon Natural Area- King George, VA
Smith Mountain Lake State Park- Huddleston, VA

Canoeing Spots Belle Isle State Park- Lancaster, VA
False Cape State Park- Virginia Beach, VA
James River State Park- Gladstone, VA
Mason Neck State Park- Lorton, VA
Educational & Historical
Facilities Chippokes Plantation State Park- Surry, VA
Douthat State Park- Millboro, VA
False Cape State Park- Virginia Beach, VA
Holliday Lake State Park - Lynchburg, VA
Natural Tunnel State Park- Duffield, VA
Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park- Big Stone Gap, VA
Staunton River Battlefield State Park- Randolph, VA
Westmoreland State Park- Montross, VA
Wilderness Road State Park- Ewing, VA
York River State Park- Williamsburg, VA
Fishing Spots Claytor Lake State Park- Dublin, VA
Hungry Mother State Park- Marion, VA
James River State Park- Gladstone, VA
Kiptopeke State Park- Cape Charles, VA
New River Trail State Park- Foster Falls, VA
Occoneechee State Park- Clarksville, VA
Hiking Trails Chippokes Plantation State Park- Surry, VA
Douthat State Park- Millboro, VA
Fairy Stone State Park - Stuart, VA
False Cape State Park- Virginia Beach, VA
Grayson Highlands State Park - Mouth of Wilson, VA
Holliday Lake State Park - Lynchburg, VA
Hungry Mother State Park- Marion, VA
Kiptopeke State Park- Cape Charles, VA
Smith Mountain Lake State Park- Huddleston, VA
Horse Friendly Parks Fairy Stone State Park - Stuart, VA
Grayson Highlands State Park - Mouth of Wilson, VA
James River State Park- Gladstone, VA
Lake Anna State Park- Spotsylvania, VA
New River Trail State Park- Foster Falls, VA
Staunton River State Park-Scottsburg, VA
York River State Park- Williamsburg, VA
Kid Friendly Leesylvania State Park- Woodbridge, VA
Pocahontas State Park- Chesterfield, VA
Twin Lakes State Park- Green Bay, VA
Picnic Areas Claytor Lake State Park- Dublin, VA
First Landing State Park - Virginia Beach, VA
Occoneechee State Park- Clarksville, VA
Public Beaches Fairy Stone State Park - Stuart, VA
Holliday Lake State Park - Lynchburg, VA
Romantic Spots Belle Isle State Park- Lancaster, VA
First Landing State Park - Virginia Beach, VA
Occoneechee State Park- Clarksville, VA
Scenic Views James River State Park- Gladstone, VA
Kiptopeke State Park- Cape Charles, VA

Shenandoah River State Park- Bentonville, VA
Sky Meadows State Park-Delaplane, VA
Staunton River State Park-Scottsburg, VA
Twin Lakes State Park- Green Bay, VA
Westmoreland State Park- Montross, VA
Tours & Events Caledon Natural Area- King George, VA
Chippokes Plantation State Park- Surry, VA
Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park- Big Stone Gap, VA
Staunton River Battlefield State Park- Randolph, VA
Wilderness Road State Park- Ewing, VA
Unique Cabins Bear Creek State Park-Cumberland, VA
First Landing State Park - Virginia Beach, VA
Kiptopeke State Park- Cape Charles, VA
Occoneechee State Park- Clarksville, VA
Water Recreation Parks Lake Anna State Park- Spotsylvania, VA
Staunton River State Park-Scottsburg, VA

Knot Magazine (Wedding Publication)

• Douthat State Park was selected as a Top Wedding Reception venue by The Knot
Magazine and was featured in their 2010 Best of Weddings issue.

2009 Highlights provided by districts or parks, by park:

District 1
• Updated trail signage to meet new standards at Kiptopeke and Chippokes. Similar
projects are underway at False Cape and First Landing.
• Created, through Chesapeake Bay Gateways funding, interpretive sign standards
for the state. District One interpretive signage will be redesigned using these
standards in early 2010.
• Conducted the first stage of Visitor Experience Planning at Chippokes Plantation
and Kiptopeke State Park. Completed the Interpretive Prospectus portion of the
VE Plan for Kiptopeke State Park.
• Posted over 50 blog posts about events and people at D1 parks.
• Held 1,722 interpretive programs and events with a total attendance of 27,140—
not counting the average attendance of 10,000 at Chippokes PPP festival.
• In the process of installing, through grant funds, wireless computer workstations
at each park so park visitor’s can access educational information and websites
related to environmental stewardship.
• Received over 20 Reserve America Outdoor Awards for the district.
• Completed sign inventories for each park in district one and began to replace
worn signage to meet new standards.

False Cape State Park

• In the month of July, False Cape was host to an international film event. A
production company from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates selected the park
for a film location. The project was a “Survivor” type children’s show. It is the
most popular show in the Arab region from Iraq to Morocco. Children ages 11-12

represented all the nations in the region. Throughout the month of July the park
provided daily transportation and support for the production. This included
transporting the kids and production crews into the park for the 12 hour daily
production schedule. The park also provided support moving the many
production items to the locations within the park. The staff learned a great deal
about movie making and we developed a new language such as “condor, grip,
electric etc”. Making this feat a major accomplishment was the remote location
of the film and the movement of large equipment and people on a daily basis with
only a few park staff available each day. The shooting schedule was about 40
days and was equivalent to many major motion picture shooting schedules.
• During the year we also completed the construction of the new Visitor Center.
Construction began in January with park staff clearing the building site, moving a
trailer in to serve as a temporary Visitor Center, doing site evaluations and
establishing utilities for the construction needs. In April the construction of the
Visitor Center began with the driving of large piles to support the structure.
Throughout the construction process the need for daily access for trades into the
park with no developed roads was a challenge. Construction materials were
transported down the parks beach to the work site. Other trades had to be
escorted in through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. By October the
structure was nearing completion and the finish trades needed daily transport in
and out of the site. Upon completion the park will have a new Visitor Center of
2500 square feet to replace the old Visitor Center of 500 square feet.
• Renamed and re-oriented trails at False Cape State Park as part of the new
mapping initiative with District Resource Specialists and Imperial Multimedia.
• The last Major Accomplishment was that the staff pulled through and completed
the operational year with no impact from the Visitor Center and Film projects on
the park user. The park had another successful year and proved once again that
the False Cape Staff are one of the best in the system.

First Landing State Park

• Added two (2) additional POS terminals at the main contact station to improve
check-in procedures for our guests by accessing Reserve America on two
terminals instead of one.
• The trail center replacement project bid was awarded and preparations are in place
to begin construction shortly after the New Year. A partnership was formed with
the Virginia Beach Princess Anne Garden Club to fund exhibit design and
construction of the new Trail Center. The availability of these funds ($50,000
donation) has made it possible for us to seek grant funding from the National
Endowment for the Humanities.
• Renovations were made to the picnic area restroom facility to upgrade the facility
to guest expectations.
• Park signage was evaluated and numerous signs were replaced.
• Chief Ranger Jim Young graduated from Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy in
• Revenue from camping is currently at $713,387, an 11% increase over 2008.
• Revenue from cabins is currently at $397,879, a 5% increase over 2008.

• Revenue from parking is currently at $239,108, a 12% increase over 2008.
• The park hosted alternative spring break groups during March and April. The
March group had 16 volunteers and the April group had 14 volunteers.
• The Youth Conservation Corp program had a group at the park the last of June
thru the first part of July.
• Energy conservation efforts were made by replacing incandescent light bulbs with
compact fluorescent bulbs in most all of the park buildings.
• The park offered 381 interpretive/educational programs with 6,231 in attendance.
• The park issued 140 special use permits for events/activities in the park.
• Started implementing the trail standards for signage. Work will continue into
• Working with the Tidewater Striders running group, the park installed a new
water fountain at the 64th street trail head parking area. The new fountain has a
double fountain and a spigot for watering pets. The Tidewater Striders donated
the funding of $5,000 to make the project a reality.
• Installed a wireless weather station in the CBC visitor center. Also, a public
computer was installed and wireless internet access is available to our guests at
this location. The current wireless is restricted to the building itself, however the
park has an exterior antennae that will be installed for internet access in the
courtyard behind the CBC where guests can sit in the courtyard and have access
without having to go into the building.
• The park hosted a two week Junior Ranger program for 150 children of deployed
military personnel through the Armed Services YMCA with funding from a grant
from the Sierra Club.
• Completed construction of the new Live Oak trail in the park through funding
from the RTP program.
• Volunteer hours are at their highest number on record for the park with a total of
22,201 volunteer hours being recorded.

York River State Park

• Attendance was over 164,000, an increase of nearly 5% over 2008.
• 5,266 Park visitors attended 229 programs presented by York River’s
Interpretative staff. 1900 school children came to the park for educational field
trips. Our popular Ghost Trails Hayrides were attended by 360 people.
• The VITA computer refresh was completed in March and the POS terminals were
refreshed in time for the beginning of the season. A wireless router and antenna
have been installed and we are on our way to faster internet connections, thanks to
Daniel White, Chippokes Park Manager.
• YCC girls did an amazing job this summer clearing a new 1.63 mile section of the
horse trail.
• Volunteers put in a total of 3800 hours this year. William and Mary students were
the top group with 1200 people volunteering time at the park. Eastern Virginia
Mountainbike Association members have put in over 320 hours maintaining the
mountain bike trails. Top Individuals in 2009 were Woody Krey at 689 hours and
Mary Leck with 508 hours.

• The Friends of York River State Park purchased playground equipment for two
separate playgrounds. Park staff installed the first one last spring and a volunteer
group from the Alcoa Howmet plant in Hampton donated 136 hours and lumber
and bolts to install the playground equipment on the second playground in
• In November and December, the 22nd Annual wildlife management deer hunt was
safely and successfully held with good attendance.
• The November Nor’easter hit our shoreline with damage to bridges on four trails
and the boat launch at Croaker Landing. Park staff have all but the big bridge on
Taskinas Creek repaired and the trails reopened.

Chippokes Plantation
• 12,296 in volunteer hours; an increase of 4,988 hours
• Attendance is up 10,202 over 2008
• Increase in revenue for FY 10 year to date of $23,820.40
• Volunteers built a 12x16 BCOM approved building; Friends of Chippokes (FOC)
donated $4,000 to the project
• Three major festivals PPP, Stream and Gas Show & Plantation Christmas; Park
provided the following special programs for Plantation Christmas:
o Native American beadwork
o The Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia
o Heirloom gardening and herbal remedies
o Hearth cooking demonstration; Two days of cooking Funded by FOC
• Southern Heritage Deer Hunt harvested 14 deer
• Garden Week (Chippokes Tea)
• Began the planning for the Chippokes Road Trail
• Close to finishing the Water Withdrawal Permit
• Volunteers painted the A Loop Restroom
• First year for JR Rangers since the 90’s
• Opened Cabin 4
• Skimmer line repair at pool of almost $50,000
• Finished floating deck in canoe area
• Started Shoreline Stabilization Project
• Moved Historic Document Collection to new Trail Head Center due to sagging
ceiling in Brick Kitchen
• Moved Interpretive Staff to Trail Head Center
• 985 interpretive programs totaling 16,428 participants
• FOC new webpage up and running
• Web cam featured at lunch almost every day on local news station
• Refinished floors in Cabin 2 and Residence 1
• Added monthly Garden Workdays to Volunteer Program; one particular workday
resulted in the removal of 10 dump truck loads of debris & plant material
• Increased LE at Steam and Gas Show
• Added two new volunteer positions

• Incident Command System plan for Steam and Gas Show
• Painted floor in pool
• Reorganized AV room
• Switched to air cards to save money over satellite internet
• Moved Furniture Collection to a central location in Park

Kiptopeke State Park

• Performed extensive preventive maintenance on all small and large equipment.
• Upgraded all trail signage to new standards.
• VITA completed the refresh of all office computers spring 2009
• POS register computers upgraded April 2009
• Merchandise for resale operations performed above expectations for the sixth year
in a row. Over the last six years the operation’s revenues have grown from
$28,000 in 2003 to $74,500 in 2009. 2009 saw a 17% increase in revenues over
2008 alone.
• 3rd Annual Kids Fishing Clinic with Northampton Anglers Club participating with
61 kids participating. A record attendance for this program.
• Total Volunteer Hours for 2009 is 4,499 hours. Park hosted numerous camp hosts
and several ASB community groups. Participating in annual spring/fall
stewardship programs and June’s Annual Clean the Bay program.
• Completed the 2009 Interpretive program schedule with 245 programs offered
and 3546 participants.
• Completed recycling/energy savings program reports and recycled 30 55-gallon
containers (1,650 gallons) of paper/newspaper/plastic.
• Continued work on the upgrades to RMP
• Master Plan reviewed and upgraded March 2009
• Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory completed their 47th year of songbird
banding operations, 32nd year of raptor counts and 11th Monarch Butterfly tagging
• Saw-Whet Owl research continued with fall banding operations.
• Conducted 4 deer hunts in accordance with RMP planning.
• UST inspected by DEQ and approved for operations.
• DCR OSHA inspection conducted June 2009 with park improvements made.
• Submitted new dredging permit application and received new permits from
USACE and VMRC 11/2009. Completed 2 major dredgings of the boat ramp and
held a public forum on future desired conditions for the boat ramp with local
• Participated in Southern Tip Partnership, with 26.5 acres being purchased for
DCR through private, state and federal monies.
• Hosted several events for the 17th Annual Eastern Shore Wildlife Festival
• Held Visitor Experience Management Planning meeting Nov. 2009.
• Three LE Officers passed new General Orders testing May 2009.
• Hosted several Writers’ Tours overnight in park lodges in conjunction with
Virginia Tourism Commission promoting the park and the Eastern Shore.

• Completed and received approved revised water sampling plans to meet new EPA
groundwater regulations that took place December 1, 2009.
• Hosted 7th Annual Virginia State Park’s Employees’ Fishing tournament October
• Campground road repair GOB project started October 2009
• Updated Camp store with new displays, painting scheme and equipment
November 2009
• Instituted new mowing areas and vehicle operations to reduce gas consumption in
conjunction with DCR policies for 10% reduction in FY 10.
• Interpretive Program Plan written November 2009.
• Continued exotic species eradication of phragmites.
• Park Manager Sam Sweeney received the John & Martha Dillard Service Award
from the CVWO 11-2009
• Park participated in IPod cast and blogging program 2009
• Dept. of Agriculture monitored ash borer and wood wasp migration at Kiptopeke
throughout 2009 camping season.

District 2

• District wide recycling bin. Prototype bin has been constructed & recycled
lumber has been purchased & most parks in DII accomplished a 3 bin in each
overnight area and several 1 or 2 bin systems within the day use area.
• Oversight/Assistance in a district wide generator project; only LA & CA pending
“building permit “hook-up” of 18KW stand-up generators for their well systems
(WE completed portable generator & BI had NN electric coop installed another
underground leg )to ensure well house continuous operation.
• DII has spent $152,553 of the $189,450 allotted, or 81% complete. Three of the
six projects are 100% complete, CA project is 95% complete, one WE project is
80% complete & another WE project just granted is 20% complete.
• WE’s 0223 combined revenue was $135,000 ($122,604 in ‘08 & $94,167in ’07 )
or 10% higher than expected. The total expenditure was $82,861. Our overall
profit therefore in the 775 pool, snack shack, boathouse, camp store & MH
operation is $52,139, or over 60% profit; marking the third consecutive year with
over a 50% profit ratio.
• The DII 0223 enterprise #’s are even more impressive. The DII 0223 revenue is
$367,420, a 9% increase. The DII 0223 expenditures is $180,126 or 98+% spent
giving the DII 0223 profit of $195,240, or 88% profit….This even includes
paying for LE expenses at LA.
• DII’s Resource Emphasis included greening/BayScaping projects. DFC plans
were initiated at CA. RMP resources were compiled for MP for data resources for
the upcoming MP Master Plan
• DII staff traveled to a couple of Chesapeake Bay Gateway led (free) workshops:
Web 2.0 marketing & Electronic Interpretive programming which was hosted
here at WE (some DII CRs), Volunteerism (some DII interpreters).
• WE, CA, BI continuing w/ YCC/Americorps groups.

• Expanded assistance in promotional events: VAFP Earth Day- Macys, now that
State Fair is in Caroline LA, BI & CA are all leading interpretive activity for a
day & other Distrcit staff assisting, attendance at Enterprise coordinated
RV/Camping Shows, hosting a Boat Show at LA (2nd year), & District staff
attending local Special Events (apx. 8-10 Festivals)
• District Manager attends NPS planning processes: I was the only non-NPS person
to join GEWA staff in a 2 day in a Comp Management Plan (& joined new Park
Supt Lucy Lawliss)

Lake Anna State Park

• Operated full menu of park services, programs and facilities with 2 classified park
ranger positions being vacant, which is a testament to the hard work and
dedication of the Lake Anna staff.
• The park experienced another record setting year related to revenue production.
Last years RIMS record was surpassed by $45,000. Total RIMS revenue $332,000
which is the third highest total in DSP.
• Hosted 3 triathlons and one trail run event with several hundred participants. Two
events held in the spring and two events held in the fall.
• Hosted 2nd Annual Lake Anna Boat Show in May.
• Law enforcement activities involving park Conservation Officers resulted in over
120 summonses being issued to park visitors during the year.
• Completed the 2009 Interpretive Summary highlighting the season’s interpretive
programs, one feature program was hosting NPS Civil War Historian John
Hanassey, presenting “Roots, Rebels and Distant Guns of Southern Spotsylvania
County” on three occasions.
• Completed 2009 Reservation Deer Hunt with good participation and 26 deer
• Volunteers contributed 4600 hours to the park this year, the majority of those are
associated with activities of the Friends of Lake Anna State Park organization.
• Provided teacher/leader workshop which resulted in 2 middle school field trips to
the park involving 600 students. The program also resulted in a $5,000 IAT from
DEQ for environmental education supplies and equipment.
• Participated in interviews with Scarab Productions to film the “Virginia Trails”
pilot production with a plan to promote the series to PBS television.

Belle Isle State Park

• Recovered from a microburst that produced 70mph winds, downing numerous
trees, blowing off shingles and the tops of 2 chimneys, and damaging a cargo
trailer, motor boat and 20 x 40 frame tent.
• Initiated a weekday “Winter Warmer” lecture series and weekly astronomy
• Hosted the Bay Seafood Festival for the 10th time, with over 2000 people in
attendance again this year.

• Assisted Westmoreland State Park staff with law enforcement and maintenance
duties during their staff shortage.
• The Friends of Belle Isle funded 8 concerts in Music by the River series,
supported the YCC program, picked up trash on the park entrance road and
funded an Eagle Scout project.
• The Friends of Belle Isle hosted the Virginia Association for Parks members
along with Delegate Albert Pollard, Clyde Cristman and State Park staff for a
• The Friends of Belle Isle committed to raising funds to build a spray ground and
associated infrastructure at the Belle Isle picnic area.
• Friends of Belle Isle hosted 3rd annual Haunted Halloween Trail.
• Friends of Belle Isle entered a float in the Kilmarnock Christmas Parade, winning
the Mayors award and trophy.
• The prototype maintenance shop was completed and staff set up operations in the
new building.
• Conducted prescribed burns of warm season grasses on 15 acres.
• Acquisition of adjacent property as a staff residence will be completed by the end
of the year.

Westmoreland State Park

• 2009, like most years had its ups and downs. The low point for Westmoreland
and its many visitors was the tragic loss of Park Ranger Richard “Ricky”
Carpenter who lost his life in a traffic accident on April 10, 2009.
• The most challenging issue that faced Westmoreland during 2009 was the lack of
staffing. In the fall of 2008 we lost both Chief Rangers due to promotions and
lateral transfers. Brad Ramsey has done an excellent job of filling one of those
positions and after successfully completing the twenty two week Basic Law
Enforcement Academy, returned to the park in June. Of the four Park Ranger
positions at Westmoreland, one was lost to the retirement of Jack Hennage in
March and of course Ricky in April. Wayne Lee joined the Westmoreland Staff
in July to fill one of the two vacant Park Ranger positions. Wayne Lee brings
with him a great deal of knowledge and expertise with his background in
construction, plumbing and electrical experience. During April and May of this
year of the six positions allotted to Westmoreland under me, only two were
actively working in the park. Park Rangers Matt Wright and Jeanne Yeagley did
and excellent job of meeting the day to day needs of our visitors. I would be
remiss if I did not acknowledge the generosity of Tim Schrader who provided
staff assistance from Belle Isle to Westmoreland on weekends during the tough
period from April to June. His staff which included Steve Davis, Trey Lundy and
David Beck was very helpful with our busy weekends.
• Attendance at Westmoreland was up 7% in 2009. Day use was up 7%, camping
up 10% and cabins up 3%. Westmoreland achieved 139% of our goal for Your
Comments Count Surveys returned. (400 Surveys were returned as of October

• The 2nd annual “Open House” was held at Murphy Hall to promote the facility
amenities along with the rest of the Park’s facilities and activities.
• Subfloors and linoleum were replaced in the kitchens and bathrooms of twelve
• The final phase of our cabin kitchen renovations was completed. Renovations
included the installation of base and wall cabinets, sinks, faucets and countertops
in the Park’s Log Cabins.
• Concrete walkways were poured to all Park cabins, replacing the former gravel
• Construction was started on the Civilian conservation Corps bike trail. This 1 ½
mile trail addition, starting at the Park entrance and includes two bridges, will
connect with the existing Rock Springs Pond bike trail.
• Major repairs were completed by park Staff to the Pool. Repairs included the
replacement of the pump and 25 hp motor, strainer basket and 8” valves and
piping to the sand filter.
• Constructions of two bond projects have started and include the new
Office/Visitor Center which is well underway and Shoreline erosion control
• Hosted a successful Woman’s Wellness Weekend
• WE Re-installed signage (from NorEasterly loss) to close dangerous areas.
• WE had $39,345 FY 09 FEMA damage reimbursed into revenue. WE also had
$51,297 FY09 reimbursed into Expenditure refund. It appears that the creation of
Property Loss Notices for 25 projects thru FEMA and Risk Management have
finally paid off.
• WE experienced a 3/1/09 storm in which we have a claim in thru VDEM for
recovery $s, apx $5k.
• WE also recovered $25,000 in 1000 funds from a Virginia Recreational Trail
Grant close-out of $19,900 in paving the accessible Rock Spring Pond Trail. The
$5k + was for in-kind services that was reimbursed.
• WE continues to maintain one of the best Inmate labor programs, working 4-5
daily. They were primarily responsible for the cutting & splitting hundreds of
cords of firewood, assistance on BI summer storm & WE 3/1 storm recoveries,
building 10 recycle tables, and seasonal daily operations including the entire
cutting of the park’s grass and painting a variety of buildings, (pool bath houses,
Dist Mgr residence.)

Caledon Natural Area

• CA had a FY 09 NRCS grant ($28,500) reimbursed into revenue; Paul Billings
performed some of the tasks that equated into grant reimbursement.

Middle Peninsula State Park Site

• Completed cottage demolition at the Middle Peninsula State Park.
• Master plan was initiated for the Middle Peninsula State Park.
• First Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting was held December 10, 2009

District 3

Leesylvania State Park

• Setup and planning completed for the first managed deer hunt in seven years.
• Constructed .7 miles of new trail including benches and interpretive signage.
• Dedicated Leesylvania’s section of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail at
a public ceremony with many distinguished guests including current and former
delegates and local government political leaders.
• Opened Woodbridge Sailing School through private concession via contract at the
park’s Breakwater Marina. Sailboat rentals and instruction are available
throughout the main and shoulder seasons.
• Replaced 25% of remaining older toilets with low flow versions with plans to
complete conversion in the upcoming year.
• Partnering with Eagles Scouts, we added 6 monofilament recycling stations at
popular fishing and boating locations.
• Eagle Scouts also landscaped our memorial garden and installed benches at the
• Alternative Spring Break participants assisted us in expanding the landing pads in
the playground and installing 36 feet of gabion cages triple layered in a shoreline
revetment project to stabilize erosion.
• Park staff completed an additional 30 feet of shoreline erosion projects and
installed 120 feet of rip-rap to slow drainage and erosion in the picnic area.
• Partnered with Leesylvania Elementary School for the first annual Turkey Trot
with about 100 participants in various running races for children furthering our
goals to connect neighboring families with outside activities.
• Performed a complete pruning operation throughout the park to combine our
annual hazard tree removal with proper resource management of various tree
stands and aesthetic planning for desired future conditions.
• Completed preplanning and have begun bid process for an involved maintenance
operation at the park pump stations with an estimated cost of 50-75K.
• Developed and implemented a system to mark all valves in the park with painted
roadway symbols to aid in emergency planning and emergency operations. This
also incorporated the removal of metal and wooden posts on the grounds to mark
said valves but detracted from the appearance of the park.
• Installed gravel pad complete with electrical hook-ups for bass tournaments to
coincide with the new fee and to alleviate erosion on the marina grounds from
tournament meetings.
• Hosted 79 fishing tournaments with a total of 3,778 boats participating.
• Record breaking revenue for fiscal year 2009 of just over $500,000.00
• Estimated attendance of 398,000 for annual year 2009 a marked increase from
• Enhanced beach areas by redistributing sand and removal of driftwood debris in
high public use areas.
• Constructed new woodshop working area in park maintenance shop.

• Enhanced landscaping at Shelter #4 with the assistance of the regatta volunteers
and former Delegate Jim Dillard.
• Performed complete biannual FAACS inventory
• Partnered with Stafford High school advanced placement biology class again this
year to perform baseline studies at Widewater.
• Had a total of 74 law enforcement incidents at Leesylvania with 6 custodial
arrests and 8 law enforcement incidents at Widewater.
• Partnered with the Friends of Leesylvania State Park to offer Operation Fresh Air
to welcome injured troops for a day of relaxing with family and fishing at the park
complete with a catered meal.
• Partnered with Northern Virginia Delta Waterfowl to install and maintain 6 new
wood duck boxes in the park.
• Partnered with Living Classroom to give kids a chance on the water in a 1920s
Buy Boat. We had 39 participants braving the waters of the Potomac River learn
how to navigate, catch plankton, clam dissection, boat building, fish identification
and other activities.
• CAST for kids - This event is for kids with special needs, but also a chance for the
family to join in their fun. We had 28 bass boat captains take the families out
fishing. There were also activities from Lowes, puppies to pet by Border Patrol,
BLM, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and much more. We had 76
volunteers help set up (sign in tables, making goodie bags, decorating etc), get the
kids/families in the boat, preparation of lunch and help out with the awards
ceremony. We had many partnerships that made this event possible.
• We increased our field trips this year and had 11 different schools come to
Leesylvania with 1526 students. We had many outreach programs going to the
neighboring schools. There were also an increased number of Day Care Centers
that came in that kept the seasonal interpreters very busy.
• Partnered with LEEP (Businesses, Individuals and Government as Local
Environmental Education Partners) to do beach clean ups within community.
Together, we undertake volunteer projects, learn more about what each of us can
do to help our planet, and help our children learn to take action as they prepare to
become the leaders of our world.

Mason Neck State Park

• The unpaved road out to our "Phase II" field area was regraded and regraveled.
• Three immature bald eagles were released by Ed Clark of the Wildlife Center of
Virginia on July 25. U.S. Representative Jim Moran also participated in the
• Overall park attendance decreased by 4.7% in 2009 compared to 2008.
• Interpretive program attendance increased by 13% compared to 2008.
• We rerouted the Wilson Spring Trail due to a bald eagle nest built near the
original trail.
• We provided law enforcement assistance to Leesylvania during the summer

• Our annual three day managed deer hunt resulted in 70 deer harvested over
November 19th, 20th, and December 11th.
• Several planning meetings were held for the upcoming Visitor Center expansion.
Construction is due to begin in February, 2010.
• Attendance at our Elizabeth Hartwell Eagle Festival in April was estimated at
• Captain John Smith Explorers' Camp, funded by a grant from Exxon Mobil, was
attended by 112 children during the summer.

Sky Meadows State Park

• With the loss of the Virginia Scottish Games to a venue closer to D.C,
merchandise sales and parking revenues are behind 2008 levels. However,
overall attendance and revenues grew by more than 11% once adjusted for the
games (which in 2008 brought in more than $11,000 of parking and merchandise
• VGEA/Colonial Life presentation was attended by all but 1 wage employee on
duty that day, plus two who came in especially to attend. VGEA/Colonial Life
representatives commented that this was the best showing they had had for wage
employees to that date.
• .Our long-neglected FAACS binder was cleaned up, records updated, and the
biennial inventory completed. VAPS asset update was completed.
• This year our Park Manager and Park Ranger attended the Virginia Association of
Museums workshop on Historic Structures. This day-long workshop provided
valuable training in the care and maintenance of historic structures, including
identifying and prioritizing needs, monitoring building condition, preventive
maintenance, and material and grant resources.
• Our aging IT system received upgrades this year, including all but two park
computers, both POS systems, our satellite modem, one printer, and the fax
• We completed cell phone testing at our location in preparation for the new state
contract, and received the comment from the Director of Operations that our
person did the “most thorough” job of all locations tested. We subsequently have
new cell phones that actually work at our park.
• Several of our staff members, both wage and salaried, have experienced upheaval
in their personal lives. This, combined with the loss of 40% of our experienced
professional staff, has led to many instances where staff has had to cover for
others and handle issues they normally wouldn’t. All of our staff has responded
• We successfully transitioned all of our employees to direct deposit or EPPI.
• Special recognition awards were given to 2 employees and one volunteer at the
Employee Recognition event- Christa Kermode, John Corrigan, and volunteer
George Tiedeman.
• We are successfully continuing to attract and sign up local small businesses into
the SWAM program.

• The General Mercantile theme continues to be developed with addition of more
lighting in the form of reproduction antique lighting, and the addition of some
locally produced products, including sparkling cider products and CDs from
regional artists that have performed at the park. The expansion of our
merchandise selection has also been well received by visitors.
• The programming tie-in for merchandise has resulted in a wider selection of
history and nature-themed books, toys, and games.
• Development of Friends of Sky Meadows State Park (FOSK) citizen support
group; completion of CSO paperwork for DCR, opening of bank account, and
501(c)(3) paperwork which will be processed as soon as funds to cover fees are
• Planned and managed several successful events: Great American Backyard
Campout, Picnic in the Park, Fall Farm Festival, Halloween Spook-tacular, and
Holiday Open House
• Increased visitation to special events:
 Fall Farm Festival – 2% increase, total attendance 5,424
 Holiday Open House - 20% increase, total attendance 888
Both events gained support from local vendors selling crafts and food
interpretively related to the park (black smiths, quilters, agricultural products,
• Planned and managed for Alternative Spring Break & YCC groups.
• 24% increase in volunteerism: total volunteer hours = 6,979. Translates into
$143,278.87 dollar value.
• Developed new partnerships: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, VA Master Gardner’s,
and Mosby Heritage Area, and the Fauquier Trail Consortium. Blue Ridge
Mountain Sports partnership supported Great American Backyard Campout &
Outdoor Skills Programs.
• Continued the quarterly Volunteer Newsletters; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter
• Created new Amphibian Monitoring Program with help from two new volunteers.
• Long overdue renovation of the Chief Ranger residence to include exterior
repaint, interior repaint, installation of hardwood flooring, cabinet and countertop
refinishing, and then some has been completed.
• Over 2,000 feet of split rail fencing and 800 feet of historic stone walls within the
historic Unique Management Area have been installed adding to the Visitor
Experience profile of the area.
• Approximately one mile extension of Gap Run Trail, bridge repairs and trailhead
parking were completed by the Youth Conservation Corp.
• The information kiosk was enhanced to feature small historical farm implements
used at Sky Meadows in the past, a bulletin board and area topographic and
historical maps. Text for interpretive signs is under development.
• The newest maintenance vehicle at Sky Meadows is a 1997 Chevy 2500 Pickup
and our oldest is a 1986 Chevy dump truck, our crew has kept these dinosaurs
running through the peak of our busy season and only having to surplus one
vehicle this year is an achievement on its own.
• Repainted the horse barn.

• Replaced the front porch, repainted all window trim and porch railings, and
window glazing of all windows of our historical Mt. Bleak house while keeping in
the historical guidelines of maintenance on historical structures.
• Work continues on reestablishment of original stone walls in the park.
• Coordinated with two neighboring land owners to repair/replace about 4,000 feet
of boundary fencing, each party supplying 50% of labor and materials.
• Began two GOB projects and one maintenance reserve project.
• Over two miles of old interior fencing was removed enhancing vistas and
eliminating a persistent hazard to both guests and wildlife.
• Improved over 14 miles of trail while keeping all trails clear and manicured
• Successfully planted 3,086 seedlings ranging from 13 different species in over 27
acres of land for reforesting of harvested areas, riparian buffer areas, reclamation
of abandoned fields, to include a small orchard.
• The work of developing Desired Future Condition Plan is 50% complete.
• Improved management of pasture and hay fields, and enhanced protection of
waterways through a CReP grant valued at over $100,000. The work included
fencing, tree planting and development of a watering system for the cattle.

Shenandoah River State Park

• Constructed new Visitor Center/ Office
• Formed committee to review contractor proposals for Visitor Center Displays
• Began construction of 33 site R.V. campground, 4 camping cabins, Waste Water
Treatment Plant, 10 cabins and 1 lodge and Linen building
• Started new Friends Group
• Hosted annual Water Shed Days-for all of Warren County sixth graders
• Completed G.O.B. trail Grant, total of $43,000
• Started R.T.P. Trail Grant, to date we have renovated 10 additional miles of
multi-use trails.
• Hosted Y.C.C. Program
• Fall River Clean- Up hosted by the SHRSP Friend’s Group
• Continue Owl Banding program, 80 owls were banded and 30 people were
present for Interpretation
• Park Manager Tony Widmer received Class IV Waste Water Works Certification
• Began P.C.A. work for campsite tent pads

District 4

• Numerous outreach programs attended to promote parks (Richmond RV Show,

Heart of VA Festival, Appomattox Railroad Festival) recruit volunteers and
interns (volunteer and intern fair at Longwood, Virginia State) attended by VSS
and park staff
• Visitor Services specialist assisted with 2 Women’s Wellness Weekends –
planning one in D4 for fall 2010; developed promotional plans for all sites;
supported park Youth Corps programs over the summer; submitted grant for SC
and research/working on others including AmeriCorps program.

• District Resource Specialist working with VCU and Powhatan High School on
natural resource inventory work project on Powhatan site; timber thinning at
Pocahontas; invasive species control at High Bridge and Holliday Lake; Desired
Future Conditions inventory work at Bear Creek Lake.
• District Business Manager scheduled and supervised Pocahontas Premiers
programming with 10 shows from May through September; merchandise
evaluations at BC, HL, TL and PO; Setting up merchandising area at SC
• Participated in Friends groups created or attempted to create at BC, PW, TL
• Volunteer day program with Governor Kaine, State Office of Volunteerism, 2
youth corps groups and Governor’s interns at Pocahontas
• VSS, DRS and District Manager participated in the 1st class of the Pocahontas
Chapter of Master Naturalist held Jan to April 2009. 2nd class scheduled to begin
January 2010.

High Bridge Trail State Park

• Opened and dedicated 12 miles of park on June 6
• Opened 6 miles of park on November 14
• Grand total of open miles is 22
• Friends of High Bridge Trail formed and actively participating
• Friends of HBT and Friends of SCB partnered for a combined Friends social
• Bridge decking and handrails completed for 5 bridges
• Trail surfacing completed for 16 miles of trail
• Hosted Governor Kaine as keynote speaker for National Trails Day Celebration
June 6th. Multiple trail related organizations participated in the event as well as
multiple state and local officials.
• Fabrication and installation of steel gates completed for the first 22 miles of trail
• Installation of split rail fencing completed for the first 22 miles of trail
• Design work completed and bids accepted for 6 vault toilets for park
• Design work nearly completed and first round of reviews completed for High
Bridge. Invitation for bids projected for early 2010.
• Provided DCR Conservation Board members tour of the park
• Hosted YCC group for 1 week session
• Coordinated courtesy patrols with Prince Edward Rescue Squad multipurpose
vehicle (Polaris)
• Multiple presentations provided to groups by park staff relating to park
development and information
• Worked with Prospect Historical Society on renovation of Prospect Depot
• Installed interpretive signs at High Bridge (High Bridge) and Elam (Bus/Train
• Hosted Longwood University volunteer groups January (30 students) and
November (100 students)

• Actively involved in community events including Longwood Wellness Fair,
YMCA Activate America Program, Appomattox Railroad Festival, Heart of
Virginia Festival, Farmville Christmas Parade and others
• Park Manager Hougland certified in bicycle patrol
• Contracted boundary survey work nearly complete
• Park Manager and Chief Ranger moved into on-site park housing
• Acquisitions of 2 residences (Prospect and Green Bay)
• Significant work completed toward acquisitions in Cumberland (Lancaster) and at
High Bridge (Scott Timberland)

Pocahontas State Park

• Swimming revenue increased from $292,108.77 in calendar year 2008 to
$316,285.28 in calendar year 2009 (source RTS). Revenue increase was due to
increased use; Pocahontas has not raised the general pool admission fee since
2003 when the new water park opened.
• Pocahontas successfully hosted the 2009 Muddy Buddy event. This was the 5th
year having in at Pocahontas and the second year hosting it in the new location.
This was the first year we had the event in May and during the same weekend as
the Richmond NASCAR race.
• Pocahontas State park successfully hosted Virginia Horse Council Trail ride at the
new closed Equestrian Center.
• Completed repairs to Bright Hope trail
• Replaced signs throughout the park
• Hosted the third annual Raider challenge for the JROTC in November
• Completed several projects with co-operation from the Eagle Scouts and Girl
• Completed corporate service projects with Starbucks, Austin Brokenbraugh and
Associates and Hamilton Beach
• Completed several Stewardship Virginia projects
• Hosted 2009 Employee Recognition Day
• Hosted our 8th annual YSC group and our 8th Alternative Spring Break Group
• Hosted Volunteer service day with Governor
• Started a master naturalist chapter at Pocahontas
• Friends group completed the Lakeview mountain bike trail system
• Hosted county cross country meets and district meets for three districts
• Hosted the 3rd annual Little Big adventure race
• Pocahontas had a 2009 attendance to date of 378,043 visitors with 79,466 staying
in the campground and 30,713 staying in the group cabins
• Hunters harvested 52 deer during the third annual controlled hunt of the game
sanctuary. This is the largest number of deer harvested to date and would have
been the first time the park held a managed hunt on a Saturday had we not
cancelled the hunt due to snow
• Facilitated training for Virginia State Police K9 training, Chesterfield County
Police, Chesterfield Fire Department, various search and rescue groups, Civil Air

Patrol, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia National
Bear Creek Lake State Park
• “The Big Event” took place in April. Longwood University fraternities &
sororities pitched in at District IV Parks for Community Service Projects. Bear
Creek Lake had 40 students assist with storm debris cleanup & removal from the
March snow storm. Most affected were the Park’s day-use area (Picnic Area) and
Campgrounds. They accomplished in 1 day what would have taken 1 month for
staff to undertake.
• Channel Cat Interpretive Trail is nearing completion. Through the Trails Grant
Program, this loop trail circles the campground area with 3 distinct interpretive sections.
• Along the lakeside are signs relating to fish species found in the lake, tips on
fishing, and information on fish habitat, conservation and lake history. The 2
other sections explore Central Virginia forests and the total sweep of the forest /
lake environment.
• The park map and trail signs have been completely updated and improved. Our
visitors have an easier time of finding their way on the park’s 5 miles of hiking
trails. Information is also available to those who want to explore trail options on
the Cumberland Multi-Use Trail and Willis River Trail in the surrounding state
• “1940 BC” - this GPS activity is made available to those who have their own GPS
units and those who wish to rent from the Park. It takes the user to 9 locations in
the Park where they can find evidence of the Park’s historical past circa 1940 AD;
spring houses, fireplaces, stone walkways and related construction that were built
when the lake was built. Additional historical points are located on the
Cumberland State Forest and visitors can explore that resource as well.
• The Park has established closer working relationships with community groups –
The Virginia Master Naturalists (Piedmont Chapter), Cumberland County
Sesquicentennial Committee and the Cumberland County Historical Society.
With these community contacts, the Park hopes to link history, culture, and
environment as main interpretive themes for future programming.
• The Park enjoys the continuing contribution of Bear Creek Academy. This
alternate educational institution provides young men with a disciplined approach
to academics & community service. Over the last 1 ½ years at Bear Creek Lake,
this group has been the Park’s own YCC. They assist with trail maintenance /
campground cleanups / landscaping / and conservation-related projects on a
weekly basis and continually impress the park staff and visitors alike with their
• The Bear Creek Lake State Park Friends’ Group was organized this past summer
with Officers chosen to lead the group. Current plans have a January 2010
meeting at Bear Creek Hall to coordinate activities in the upcoming year.
• Visitation continues to grow at Bear Creek Lake with over 70,000 park guests
(day-use & overnight). No doubt, the popularity of the Park’s recently
constructed (2007) 13 cabins and availability of Bear Creek Hall as a community

meeting facility & family gathering point have contributed to this increase and

Holliday Lake State Park

• Began construction of new campground facility in June of 2009
• Performed preventive maintenance on several park vehicles to include state
inspections, oil changes, tire replacement, and added all repairs/servicing to the
“Vehicle Maintenance Log” database.
• Upgraded 20% of park signs to meet current sign manual regulations and replaced
12 existing signs in the park (including Emergency Phone Numbers, Campground
Entrance and Exit Signs, and No Diving Signs)
• Continued removal of invasive species including autumn olive with the assistance
of the District Resource Management Specialist, Irene Frentz
• Park manager purchased and installed a new hot water heater for his residence.
• Completion of the repair of the T-Dock at the lake, with recycled plastic lumber
• Extensive repair work (irrigation, drainage, re-building) was completed to several
campsites which were damaged from spring flooding.
• Extensive kitchen repair and replacement done to Chief Ranger residence in
August, including new kitchen cabinets, countertops and new drywall.
• Grant money was received to install 4 new bluebird boxes around park
• New landscaping was completed at Chief Ranger residence.
• DEQ Inspection in Dec.-passed with praises
• Winterized (Dec 2009) and De-winterized (spring 2009) park facilities
• Maintenance staff built two aluminum recycling holders made out of recycled
• Park staff plowed roads and removed trees within 48 hours of large snow storm in
March 2009
• Built oil storage facility for used oil at park shop
• Prepared and hosted OSHA Inspection in January 2009
• VITA completed the refresh of all office computers by March and all POS cpu’s
were replaced in April.
• Began re-painting office and installing cabinets.
• Food and Merchandise revenue totaled $36,217 with a $33,593 increase of 7%
from 2008?
• Interpretive Summary completed for 2009 and submitted to Keith Morgan
• Partnership with NPS in establishing civil war programs in celebration of the
150th anniversary.
• A Gospel concert with proceeds benefiting The Farmville Community Emergency
Services Food Panty (F.A.C.E.S)
• Partnership with VA DGIF to offer Kayak Quickstart programs throughout the
summer, with the use of VA DGIF kayaks.
• A segment about the park on a local television station for the “Living in the Heart
of Virginia” television series (Park Manager and District 4 Visitor Services
Specialist were interviewed)

• State park staff offered 172 programs this season with 2,197 participants.
• HLSP representation at the opening of High Bridge Trail State Park on National
Trails Day (June 6th 2009) with a visit from Governor Tim Kaine
• Significant improvement from our volunteers and staff on improving our Butterfly
garden, including landscaping and irrigation efforts.
• Gained two more active volunteers who have performed over 150 hours of
Wildflower Mapping at HLSP.
• Volunteer installed benches, loft and racks at boathouse and boatshed for storage
• Longwood University volunteer group out to park in April-raked leaves, dug
ditches, repair ditches, mulched gardens
• Hosted and trained CAMPHOST in March
• There were 10,968 campers as of November 30, 2009
• Park Attendance of 49,590 up 10.9% over last calendar year.
• Property transfer with DOF to increase acreage and protect view shed of HLSP in
the works.

Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park

• Chris Calkins: November 2008-July 2009 Worked part-time for National Park
Service and part-time for Dept. of Conservation and Recreation. Retired from
NPS July 3, 2009.
• Attended pre-con meeting and met with project manager, Mike Miller over
Hillsman house restoration.
• Attended pre-bid, pre-con meetings on the visitor center then monthly meetings
with project manager, architect and contractor as building was constructed.
Sometimes had to travel to architects office in Richmond for material decisions.
• Attended off-site programs for various civic/educational institutions on behalf of
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield.
• Represented Sailor’s Creek at Virginia’s Retreat tourism organization.
• Prepared PCA’s for the following projects after Hillsman house completion:
o Paint analysis of interior of house
o Replication of Golden Oak grained front door
o Historical/Architectural Study of Hillsman House
o Complete repainting of exterior of house and repair door
o Living History items for use in furnishing house as a Civil War hospital
• Co-Chair of DCR’s “American Civil War Sesquicentennial Virginia State Parks
• Received training on STARS radio system
• Attended Park Manager’s meeting at Bear Creek S.P.
• Had “soft opening” weekend of Hillsman farm house to public after being closed
for almost a year, April 4-5. House is now completely furnished as per Historic
Furnishing Plan presented earlier. 300 attendees on Sat.-Sun.
• House now open on a scheduled basis and interpreted by Park Rangers.

• Attended state sponsor’s 150th CW Seminar at Univ. of Richmond.
• Took SC staff for training at Pamplin Historical Park outside of Petersburg.
• Entertained 18 National Park Service Civil War historians at Sailor’s Creek
showing new VC, Hillsman House and tour of battlefield.
• Worked with Virginia State Police forensic personnel to establish validity of
human blood on Hillsman house floor.
• Met with curator at Appomattox CHNHP to obtain Sailor’s Creek related artifacts
for display in new Visitor Center.
• Helped host a dual Friends of Sailor’s Creek/High Bridge picnic at new VC.
• Gave talks to civic/historical organizations upon request.
• Provided car caravan historical driving tour of battle from Jetersville to Sailor’s
• Held November 7th Veteran’s Day evening Luminaria program on the battlefield
from 6-8 p.m. Big success.
• Begun meetings with VDOT over bridge replacement at park over Sailor’s Creek.
• Preparing sole source document for Visitor Center exhibitry now that Visitor
Center building is completed and turned over to DCR.
• Preparing to set up a sales area in new Visitor Center.
• Preparing to move and set up research library.

Twin Lakes State Park

• Martin Cottage; replaced windows, painted kitchen and bathroom, constructed
cabinets for the kitchen, and vanity for bathroom.
• Lodge; replaced carpeting in bedrooms and installed wood flooring in the hallway
and living room. Constructed new kitchen cabinets, painted the interior, and
replaced interior and exterior doors.
• New desk and counter was constructed to open up the front office.
• Chief Ranger’s residence; replaced windows and HVAC unit.
• Maintenance Facility and pole shed completed (2002 GOB).
• Sewer line repaired between Cabins 1 & 3 down the hill to the grinder pump at
Cabin 4.
• ADA projects completed at Cedar Crest Center; ramp into outside restrooms,
installed full length mirror in restroom, raised one sink & lowered paper towel
dispenser, and added grab bars to accessible stall. The beach; repaired sidewalk
at Beach parking lot.
• Computer Refresh completed in March.
• Three couples worked as Camp Host’s beginning in mid-April and covered the
campground through November.
• Installed two fishing line recycling containers; one at Prince Edward boat launch
and the other at the accessible fishing pier on Goodwin Lake.
• Began preliminary meetings for a Friends Group to be created.
• High speed internet established by air cards in the Office and at Cedar Crest

• Law enforcement; completed General Orders (GO) review, purchases made to
comply with GO, constructed Evidence Room to fulfill updated GO, and
Inspection conducted with minor corrections needed.
• Hosted Canoe Training for Interpreters and staff.
• YCC graduation held after the first session. Participants worked on the Goodwin
Lake Trail Bond project, installed benches along the trail and at the playground,
and planted trees. This was the first year that the group stayed with us and
worked at two other parks, HBT and SCB, for a week.
• GOB Trail; Goodwin Lake Trail 90% completed and an additional $10,000 given
to complete the trailhead kiosk and improve the trail in the picnic area.
• Maintenance Reserve; Concession roof replaced in September. Met with CO staff
to discuss the ADA Parking issues at Cedar Crest, Camp Host sewer project, and
Roof Replacement for Doswell Hall and Associated Building.
• Installed rain barrel at residence and began composting.
• Waterline leak was repaired near cabin 4.
• Owner’s Inspection completed on Prince Edward dam.

Powhatan on the Historic James State Park

• Design work for phase 1 layout is 95% complete
• Prototype building designs have been submitted to and approved by the
Architectural review board

District 5

Staunton River Battlefield

• Plan to rehabilitate overseer’s house completed by Historical Architectural
consultant along established National park service parameters. Included
estimated costs, drawings and appropriate materials.
• Overseer’s house rehabilitation plans presented to Historical Staunton River
Foundation which initiated the “Friends of Overseer’s House”, to gather funding
from diverse sources. The group is composed of direct descendants from
Mulberry Hill families.
• Met with Sappony representatives in initial planning for an annual scenic river
event focusing on Native American relationships with the Staunton River. Trying
to piggyback with Longwood Archaeological Field School.
• Hosted annual week long Environmental Field School.
• Continued offering diverse interpretive programs focusing on the parks unique
combination of historical, archaeological, cultural and natural resources.
• Developed well received interpretive program “Women of the Civil War.”
• Developed interpretive program “Dogs in the Civil War.”
• Continued routine park operations and provided the public with quality events and
activities in the face of difficult funding challenges
• Park signs were upgraded to the most recent specifications
• Painted park office
• Changed all lights possible to energy efficient

• Purchased energy efficient fax/scanner/copier/printer for office
• Set up office computers on network to share printer
• Added a Haunted Trail to Halloween event with mixed reviews – process of
planning a family oriented event for children during the day
• Maintenance employee completed recertification of Sawyer Training on
December 11, 2009.
• Two interpreters completed canoe training
• Cleanup damaged trees from Mulberry Hill due to storms
• Foothill Evergreen company came in and trimmed and discarded vines from
Mulberry Hill boxwoods (work done on volunteer basis)
• Cleared brush and unwanted woven wire from overlook areas adjacent to Rail-to-
• Total of 1,374 volunteer hours as of December 6, 2009.
• Checked feasibility of possible trail around pond at Mulberry Hill
• Inspection of Earthen Dam at Mulberry Hill pond

Smith Mountain Lake State Park

• Lake Christian Ministries Free Pass Program - The summer cooperative program
with Lake Christian Ministries was more successful due to a few changes that
were made this spring. LCM administers the program by screening and
determining those that qualify for a fee waiver for economically disadvantaged
families to visit the park. This summer there were no restrictions to qualifying
participants using the passes on weekends and holidays. We plan to make some
modification as to how we manage and track passes but the program seems to be
working well and offering a service most people that LCM serves could not
afford. In LCM’s year end report they: distributed 363 parking and 1,487
swimming passes, 101 families receiving passes said they had never visited the
park, 138 families said they had visited the park three or fewer times in the last 5
years, with 99 parking passes and 461 swimming passes used, and 54% of passes
used were used on weekends and holidays. The entire pilot project has been a
rewarding experience for LCM volunteers and the DCR to be able to reach a
segment of our community where economic issues may hinder or prevent visits to
Smith Mountain Lake State Park. This was a true team effort with Enterprise
working on the official Fee Waiver document and plan proposal, LCM staff that
administered the program and park staff that provided input, passes, and staff to
assist in the development of program marketing tools.
• A new Visitor Center was built with funds provided by the 2002 General
Obligation Bonds. The 2003 Park Master Plan identified the need of a new facility
that would be a vast improvement over the previous building. The new facility
has an improved guest services/check-in area for our visitors and overnight
guests, sales area, public restrooms, a 1,400 square foot display area which is 3
times as much space as is in the previous building, improved parking, and office
space. The new building was designed and constructed with standards developed
by the U. S. Green Building Council to obtain the LEED Certification.
• Hosted December DCR Employee Recognition Event at the new visitor center.

Fairy Stone State Park
• The Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists
Program developed and installed interpretive trail signs for the Oak Hickory Trail.
• With the use of bond funds, a new trail was built to connect the horse campground
under development to the Little Mountain Falls trail system.
• The Friends of Fairy Stone hosted a very successful car show in June.
• Construction of the new shop building was completed.
• The upper end of Fairy Stone lake was successfully dredged resulting in better
water flow through the lake and less debris build up.
• The design phase of the new horse campground was completed.
• All Stuart’s Knob trail signs were upgraded to meet the new trail sign
• Hosted the Youth Conservation Corp program.
• Hosted Family Fun Day at the beach in conjunction with radio station B-99.

Occoneechee State Park

• Completed public meeting process and Master Plan amendments to include
construction of new park operated marina facility and future campground
• Conducted first deer management lottery hunts. Developed permit system to
monitor and manage open hunting portion of the park. Issued 80 permits to fall
• Occoneechee Friends group completed phase 1 improvements to historic
Occoneechee Plantation site.
• Co-sponsored with local VFW and American Legion a 6 month initiative to
provide outdoor recreation opportunities to disabled veterans from surrounding
military hospitals.
• Environmental and design phase of new marina/meeting facility is underway.
• Replaced 60+ park signs to comply with new standards for sign design and script.
Installed 3 of the new style informational kiosk structures with signs and brochure
• Began mapping and layout to provide additional multi-use and hike/bike only
trails. Additional bond money appropriated to complete this work.
• Completed Bond PCA’s for contact station and trail work.
• Developed new 5 year concession contract for boat rental service.

Staunton River State Park

• Hosted 5th consecutive YCC group. The group completed numerous facility and
trail improvement projects.
• Hosted Alternative Spring Break group from Eckerd College located in St.
Petersburg Florida.
• Increased volunteer hours 16% over 2008 by utilizing small civic group

• Two Eagle Scout Projects completed:
1) Repair of benches at rest stops along the trail
2) Repair of benches at amphitheater
• Renovation of original CCC Visitor Center completed.
• Completed Dan River Boat Ramp upgrades through a PCA project as part of the
2002 bond. (Including new fencing, new pavement, new solar lights, and a vault
• Completed Phase 1 of Interpretive Planning for Staunton River with Phase 2 set
for February 2010.
• Increased overnight attendance by 16% and total park attendance by 7%.
• Staunton River offered cabins for rental past the traditional camping season for
the first time that we know of.
• Held our 3rd successful managed deer hunt.
• Completed prescribed burns on a total of 35 acres of planted pines.
• Completed timber thinning on 111 acres of planted pines for total revenue of
• We are proud to be the home of both the 2009 Focus Employee of the Year
(Stephanie Allen) and the 2009 District Five Employee of the Year (Emily

District 6
• This year there were 92 program announcements released to the media about
events taking place within District 6 state parks. These were also added to the
Virginia State Park blog for social media. Without any advertising money these
events were solely advertised through these media announcements.
• YCC (media attention):
o Interviewed with Hank Zimmerman about YCC applications in March
o Interviewed with Alleghany Mountain Radio with Elaine Brown about
YCC applications in March 2009.
o WSLS Channel 10 interviewed Claytor Lake’s YCC group and Park
Manager Dave Collett.
• Alternative Spring Break (media attention):
o WDBJ7 interviewed Douthat’s alternative spring break group, District
Resource Specialist Peter Barlow, and Visitor Services Specialist Jaimie
Lomasney in March 2009.
o The Virginian Review ran the story about Douthat’s Alternative Spring
Break Group as the top news story on the front page of the March 12
• Park Visitors:
o Interviewed with Dwight Rohr from Big Country 101 to discuss the
number of visitors per year at Douthat State Park along with where visitors
are coming from.

o Interviewed with Lindsay Ward at WSLS Channel 10 to discuss job
applications and if we’re receiving more this year than we did in 2008.
• Informational booths were also set up throughout community events and during
park events to promote special events taking place in District 6.

James River State Park

• $427,662 in revenue
• 53,334 Visitors
• Equestrian Horse Construction started. Infrastructure completed which includes
10 campsites, utilities, and roads. Bathhouse and stall design in review process
with BCOM.
• Visitor Center Construction started. Site work complete and building framed up.
Working on exhibit development which includes a large aquarium display.
• Tye River Overlook Trail Project completed providing a new ADA trail to the
over look and a renovated overlook platform.
• Running Creek Trail Reroute Project currently under construction which includes
rerouting one mile of multiple use trail.
• 5th Annual James River Raft Race
• 2nd Annual Little Big Adventure Race
• 10th Annual Fall Harvest Festival
• Bluegrass under the Stars had 4 concerts over the summer.
• Hosted VAFP conference in September at the cabins.
• 215 Programs presented with 3290 participants and Geocaching the most popular
new program.
• Spring EE School Groups with 558 students, primarily second graders,
participating in ecology and history programs.
• Crewe Astronomy Club presented 2 night sky programs for park visitors.
• Prescribed Burn on 135 acres of grass fields completed.
• Timber Thinning of 75 acres of Loblolly Pine stand.
• 8 mile River Cleanup from Bent Creek to Dixon Landing for Stewardship
Virginia Program.
• Conducted annual Deer Hunt with 28 deer harvested.
• Bent Creek Adventures had a good year with $43,337 in equipment rentals.
• Gift Shops have sold $40,523 in merchandise as of Dec 1.
• Hosted Swift Water Rescue Training for State Park staff.
• Stars Radios installed and staff trained on care and use.
• Law Enforcement General Orders Training completed.
• Inmates provided 4,458 hours of labor. The Buckingham Correctional Facility
work program has been exceptional in providing productive labor to offset
declining wages.
• Friends of James River State Park achieved 501 C3 Status and continue raising
funds for a playground at the Park.

New River Trail State Park
• The Foster Falls water system was put into operation making public drinking
water available for the first time at the main park access.
• A GOB Trail Resurfacing project has been completed where approximately 15
miles of trail have been coated with a fresh layer of stone.
• Plans for the Foster Falls Hotel are nearing completion. The first phase of
construction should be going out to bid soon.
• GOB Trestle repair project is nearing completion with all trestles on the Northern
Management Area having damaged handrails and decking boards replaced.
• Work has begun on the Gambetta Tunnel to repair wooden supports and install
wire mesh to prevent rock falls. The project should be complete by the end of
March 2010.
• The Foster Falls Festival of Lights was the most successful to date with 2300
people attending the one night event. Donations and community support kept the
event from being cancelled after the most recent budget cuts.
• Park interpretive staff installed a water garden at Hillsville Elementary School
where Environmental Education programs are given by the park as well as school
staff. All materials were donated by local vendors to accomplish this project.
• The Jackson Ferry Horse Complex and Arena continue to grow in offerings and
shows. We have added additional seating for spectators. The amount of shows
increased from 4 the previous year to 9 this past season and as of now we have
potentially 14 shows looking to schedule for the upcoming season.
• We have increased our volunteerism dramatically this year by working with local
organizations that assist people in getting back to work as well as boy scouts and
other community organizations. Last year we had approximately 750 hrs. To
date we have 2849 volunteer hours.

Claytor Lake State Park

• Management of 60+ wage employees (peak summer) and 8 salaried employees.
• Volunteer hours totaled over 7,200 hours YTD. Primarily through individual
volunteers, acquisition of groups (VA Tech, Boy Scouts, U.S. Cellular),
Camp/Cabin Host program, and CDI program.
• Employees received FOCUS and other appropriate training. Held several first
day sessions with new-hires and return P-14’s this past spring to orient, train, and
provide expectations.
• Meet & exceeded our YCC survey goals.
• Worked with Southeast Publications to update park site map for distribution to all
campers and cabin guests.
• Still provided interpretive programming to over 5,000 guests even after budget
cuts and severe staffing attrition/turnover. Focus of the interpretive program this
cycle was providing more “hands on activities”. Park’s full-time staff conducted
several EE programs at area schools and field trips due to lack of availability of
wage interpretive staff.

• Worked with VSS and Central Office to develop the process of posting pictures of
park facilities on the internet. The project has been wildly successful and much
appreciated by park guests. First park in the system.
• Completed wedding marketing package (marketing folder, new brochure,
pictures) with assistance of VSS and instituted several packages for wedding
events. Project has shown initial success with more rentals YTD with longer
timeframes. Participated in Pulaski Wedding Show in the Spring 2009.
• Several co-operative partnerships to provide programming occurred during this
year: 33rd Annual Youth Conservation Camp with VA Association of Soil &
Water Conservation Districts, 11th Celebration of Summer Festival,
complimentary boat inspections with Flotilla 92 Coast Guard Auxiliary, and
hosted Boater Safety Classes with VDGIF & Coast Guard Auxiliary.
• Successfully put on largest “Celebration of Summer” festival to date. 13,000
• Staff conducted ICS LE training on event operations for assisting LE officers
which totaled 17 officers in 2009.
• Park generated $1.2 million in FY09 with $435,800.41 being in 0223 ($68K in net
profit) and $773,494.38 in 0263.
• Visitation exceeded 260,152 persons. Campground occupancy increased by 4.9%
over previous year (9,385 nights in FY09).
• Operated meeting facility, gift shop, gas dock, boat slip rentals, beach
concessions, swimming, vending machines, and other POS’s successfully.
Introduced a variety of new merchandise and food supplies for re-sale after
analysis of previous year’s performance.
• Successfully worked through the integration of our new gas pumps (one being
CRIND operational, other CRIND capable).
• Successfully worked with Steve Rusch, Chuck Wyatt, and Charles Hickerson to
solicit and award our next 5 yr boat concession contract. The contract, which was
awarded to our current vendor, will increase park revenues to 5% of total receipts.
This is an increase over the current 3.5 % we receive.
• Held Marina Slip Rental Tenants meeting to discuss policies and park operation
of marina rental slips.
• Saved almost 40,000 kilowatt hours over previous FY through our park energy
saving efforts. Employed tactics such as turning off water heaters between
reservations, adjusting thermostats when unoccupied, placed energy saving
reminders for guests to see (stickers and tent cards), installed photocells and
motion switches when practical, and replaced as many incandescent bulbs as
possible with CFL’s. Staff really bought into efforts and success can only be
attributed to their diligence.
• Continued to work on Ailanthus eradication throughout park.
• Worked with VA Tech SAF Club on their efforts in completing approximately 2/3
of total park’s forestry inventory.
• Worked with the VA Tech Urban Forestry Club in completing their danger tree
assessment of lower usage corridor (Cabin area to Picnic Area).

• Worked with Pete Barlow, Forrest Atwood, and Sam Bailey on Claytor Lake’s
burn management planning. First prescribed fire introduction is scheduled to
occur Fall 2009- Spring 2010.
• Conducted DPOP deer hunt in January 2009 to manage park’s deer herd. Hunt
occurred outside of closed season following DMAP standards. Harvested 29
• Completed a winter fish habitat structure project (Christmas tree recycling project
in winter). Received exposure for the park in the Southwest Times, WSET News,
DCR website, local media outlets.
• Attended numerous FERC focus group meetings (shoreline management,
recreation, markings and regulatory) dealing with AEP’s relicensing application
to operate a hydro-dam on Claytor Lake for the upcoming 30 year cycle.
• Hosted YCC program for 3rd year.

• Work has been started on the new cabins and is expected to be completed by July
of 2010. One 2 bedroom cabin, One 3 bedroom cabin and One 6 bedroom cabin.
• Funding as been secured for the new Whispering Pines Campground and Beaver
Dam Equestrian Campground. This project will be put out for bid January 2010.
• New water line connection was installed to connect Douthat with public water.
Old park well system has been removed.
• Three cabins received new porch roofs.
• 33 miles of trails have had trails maintenance completed by various trail contracts.
• West side of the park trail system signage has been replaced with new trail sign
standards. The east side trails will be replaced in early 2010.
• Two new staff members have joined Douthat staff Josh Hollandsworth as Chief
Ranger and Kester Dingus as Business Manager.
• The new drain field has been in incorporated into the new cabin area project to
replaced a failed drain field for cabin 26,27,28, 29, 21, 20 19.
• Several major repairs have been made to the aging vehicle.
• New shower units have been placed in 3 cabins and Lakeside bath house.
• Repairs are ongoing daily occurrence with cabins, campgrounds and all park
• We were able to use Douthat’s local radio station the week before any major
event to be interviewed live on air for an hour to talk about the park event taking
• Douthat’s Car Show:
o Interviewed with Big Al on Big Country 101 for Douthat’s Car Show in
May 2009.
o Interviewed with Buck Rumph from Virginian Review for Douthat’s Car
• Douthat’s Arts and Crafts Fair:
o The Virginian Review ran the Arts and Crafts Fair story for Douthat on
the front page of the newspaper in the July 27 issue.
• Douthat’s Back to School Beach Bash:

o Interviewed with Big Al on Big Country 101 for Douthat’s Back to School
Beach Bash August 2009.
o Interviewed with Buck Rumph from the Virginian Review for Douthat’s
Back to School Beach Bash.
 The story ran as the top story on the front page of the August 17
issue of the Virginian Review.
• Douthat’s Apple Day:
o Interviewed with Big Al on Big Country 101 for Douthat’s Apple Day.
o Interviewed with Buck Rumph from the Virginian Review for Douthat’s
Apple Day.
 The Apple Day story was top news story on the front page of the
October 12 issue of the Virginian Review.
o Chia-Chi Hsiung from the World Journal in China was at Apple Day at
Douthat and enjoyed her trip so much she decided to run the story in
Chinese in the World Journal on October 17. Douthat State Park was
listed as one of the great places nearby to visit in the very last paragraph.

• New York Times:

o “Campsites the Great Depression Created” ran on Sunday, August 30 in
the New York Times with Douthat State Park as a featured park and Park
Manager Charlie Conner being quoted.
• Also spoke to several community organizations throughout the year to discuss
Douthat’s volunteer group and to also discuss events taking place at Douthat.

District 7

Hungry Mother State Park

• Hosted 5th Annual FM 94 Easter Egg Hung
• Hosted Women’s Wellness Weekend
• Hosted American Cancer Societies Mountain Do Challenge (Triathlon)
• 2009 Outdoor Expo and Fishing Tournament
• Hosted Bike Smyth County
• 2009 Great American Backyard Campout
• Hosted the 36th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival
• Hosted and assisted with NWTF’s Jakes Event
• Hosted 35+ Annual Gene Walker Cross County Meet
• Hosted Girl Scouts National Public Lands Day
• Hosted 9th Annual Fall Fear Bike Race
• Hosted and assisted with Envirothon
• Hosted and assisted with Rock Mountain Elk Foundation’s Kids Day
• HH and Restaurant staff served 19 weddings

• Worked with Boy Scouts as they completed several projects
• Completed new trail construction and re-routes funded by GOB grant
• Assisted Friends of Hungry Mother with boat ramp extension project
• Completed GOB – Lake Dredging
• Completed GOB – Bathhouse for B-Campground
• Started GOB Bathhouse for Camp Burson
• Completed GOB – Campground Construction at Camp Burson
• Numerous trail projects including: New trail heads, maps, signage, GPS, &
• Procured additional 700+ acres through GOB
• Received 1st round grant approval to assist with Phase III of Clyburn Hollow Trail
• Worked with local high school agriculture class to create fish structure
• Worked on lake erosion control while lake was being dredged
• Constructed canoe launch at Boat Ramp
• Re-roofed five park buildings
• Stained and pressure washed eight park buildings
• Renovated Chestnut and Sycamore lodges and Cabin #1
• Completed Restaurant kitchen floor improvements
• Re-landscaped all park shelters
• Landscaped playground purchased by Friends of Hungry Mother

Natural Tunnel State Park

• As a result of the 2001 GOB, cabin construction is underway for six two
bedrooms, one two bedroom accessible, one three bedroom, one three bedroom
accessible, and a 6 bedroom lodge. In addition, a new 18 site water/electric
campground and bathhouse is being constructed. Facilities are planned to be open
in the spring of 2010. The total project budget is 5.2 million. Park Staff are
dealing with many construction issues and inspections. Park staff is scheduled to
complete over $250,000 of work through park construction agreements on this
project. The Southwest Virginia Master Gardeners, through the Va. Extension
Service, are developing a landscape plan and providing labor and donations of
materials for the cabin area.
• A $74,000 trail grant was awarded to the park for an overhaul and re-routing of
park trails due to cabin area construction. Work on the grant is underway and will
be completed during the winter of 2010.
• As part of the continuing partnership with the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail
Association, development of the Wilderness Road Blockhouse Interpretive Area
continued. The 3rd Annual “Siege at the Blockhouse” re-enactment was held again
the last weekend in May. This year an authentic bake oven was constructed as
well as a donation of $1,500 was received by the Sons of the American
Revolution, Over Mountain Chapter, for erection of a flagpole and monument to
commemorate the sacrifices of local militia in the Revolutionary War.
• In July of this year, a “Travel through Time” teacher workshop was held in
partnership with the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association and Stafford
Communications. Teachers travelled the Wilderness Road from the Netherland

Inn in Kingsport TN to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park participating
in presentations and development of SOL compatible lesson plans involving the
Wilderness Road. This program is being further expanded this year to a college
credit course in partnership with Mt. Empire Community College for teacher re-
certification credits.
• The Cove Ridge Foundation received a $10,000 donation from Joy Machinery
Inc. to assist in educational and environmental education programs.
• The Cove Ridge Foundation again sponsored the annual “Classrooms on Wheels”
trip for regional high school students. This year’s trip travelled to Washington
D.C. The foundation also sponsored the Nature Trek 360 program for Scott
County School Middle School age students. Nature Trek 360 is a 3-day, 2-night
program offered through the Cove Ridge Center that engrosses students in
regional history and nature studies.
• The new waterslide was actually operational this year and added greatly to the
attendance at the swimming pool complex.
• Over 13,778 individuals attended a total of 507 interpretive and educational
programs at the park.
• Over 2300 pounds of plastic and aluminum were recycled this past year.
• Special Events;
o The Annual Winter Candlelight Series was offered in partnership with the
Cove Ridge Cultural Arts Council in the months of January through April.
The Arts Council also conducted the bi-monthly “Pickin in the Park”
program featuring local musicians throughout the summer.
o The Earth Day Recycle/Rummage Sale was held by the Friends of Natural
Tunnel; over $900.00 was raised for park programming.
o The 13th Annual Papa Joe Smiddy Festival was held on Labor Day
o The Scott County Hair Sheep Association held its annual seminar and sale
at the park in September. This was a new and unusual event for the park;
however it fit in nicely as it showcased the agriculture of the area.
• 4,374 volunteer hours were worked this past year at NT.

Southwest Virginia Museum

• The Museum was named an “Affiliated Partner” of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s
Heritage Music Trail. As an “Affiliated Partner,” the Museum will receive
recognition in Crooked Road publicity and promotional materials. The
designation was presented by Governor Kaine who held his Community Cabinet
Day in June at the museum.
• In partnership with the Friends of the Museum, organized and held the third
annual "Gathering In the Gap" music festival in May 2009. The event cost
approximately $25,000 which was funded by the Friends of the Museum. The
music festival was well received and attended by over 1,200 people. The Friends
of the Museum received three grants which were written and administered by
museum staff.

• The museum continued to upgrade the permanent exhibits. A new coal exhibit,
with touch screen technology, was installed. The staff did the design and building
of the exhibit, except for the computer technology function which was contracted
to Imperial Multimedia. The total exhibit cost was approximately $20,000 which
was funded by The Slemp Foundation.
• The museum also upgraded the school history exhibit and installed five
commercial digital frames in the museum exhibits. These feature rotating photos
pertaining to various exhibits. These upgrades cost approximately $4,000 which
was funded by The Slemp Foundation.
• The museum hosted New York Times best-selling author Adriana Trigiani for a
book-signing event and fund raiser for the Friends of the Museum in November.
• The museum received an $8,000 individual donation to install a “Victorian
Garden” in the side yard of the museum. This was an area that was damaged
during the tornado. The garden added needed landscaping, outdoor seating, and a
performance area on the grounds of the museum.
• The museum staff and volunteers had an exceptional year and were able to more
than double attendance over last year’s figures. The 2009 season should total
around 49,000 visitors. Revenue for admission, sales shop, Victorian Parlor, and
Interpretive Enterprise Programs will end the year on an upward trend.
• Continued partnerships with UVA-Wise for history interns, as well as employees,
provided through the Mountain Empire Older Citizen’s work program.
• The museum continues to use volunteers to help with projects and events held at
the museum. Some of these events are the Quilt Show, Gathering in the Gap
Music Festival, the Annual Festival of Trees, as well as artifact inventory. As of
November 2009, for the year, we have accumulated 3,247 hours of volunteer time
given by various groups and individuals.
• Sprinkler heads, which had been on recall since 2005, were replaced in the
Carriage House.
• Museum staff provided Division support by inventorying photos for Fairy Stone,
providing training support to Chippokes staff, inventorying numerous items into
the Virginia State Park Collection, participated in the Women’s Wellness
Weekend, blogged, and completed the NAGPRA inventory on behalf of the

Grayson Highlands State Park

• Performed extensive preventive maintenance on several park vehicles to
include state inspections, battery/brake replacement, oil changes, tire
replacement, replaced drive belt tension pulley on GH3 and added all
repairs/servicing to the “Vehicle Maintenance Log” database.
• There were 5,283 registered overnight backpackers as of November 30, 2009
accessing the high country this year.
• Upgraded 75 park signs to meet 2006 standards outlined in the Sign Manual.
• Completed most of the upgrades to the Assistant Park Manager’s residence
and installation of new windows ($3,500).

• Constructed 1,000 feet of chestnut rail fencing bordering Route 58 before
turning onto Haw Orchard Lane towards the maintenance shop.
• Completed the construction of a horse manure storage pit at the end of the
stable area facility as given in the parks nutrient management plan that was
revised in December 2008.
• The construction of the Park Manager’s residence is 100% complete, with the
Certificate of Occupancy issued March 11, 2009 and substantial completion
done.($308,000 project) Task 85.
• Completed the construction of the Group Camping restroom facility
10/09/2009. ($127,000 project).
• Theresa Tibbs attended the VA Beach Gift Show and merchandise training in
March in Virginia Beach. The majority of merchandise for resale was ordered
then for the 2009 season.
• VITA completed the refresh of all office computers on March 24 and all POS
cpu’s were replaced on April 1, 2009.
• Completed renovation of the interior of the lower loop restroom including
ceiling, walls, and painting partitions. ($3,500 project using park labor)
• Merchandise for resale operations performed really well this quarter reaching
$25,896 for the month of June, an 8% increase over last year’s June Amount.
The calendar year-to-date total was $123,840, which is 10% of the
merchandise for resale total for DSP.
• The Wayne C Henderson Music Festival was held with over 2,000 visitors;
706 cars; no incidents; and grossing over $30,000 in revenue production
between the rescue squads, steering committee and the state park overall sales.
• Total volunteer hours for the year were 5,190.5.
• Planned and organized the 33rd Annual Fall Harvest Festival at Grayson
Highlands State Park that was held September 26 & 27, 2009 with
approximately 2,000 visitors. The Wilburn Ridge Pony Association rounded
up 31 ponies to auction off on Saturday averaging $75.00 each.
• Completed the 2009 Interpretive Summary highlighting the season’s
interpretive accomplishments and submitted for review by mid-September.
• Merchandise critique was performed by Ann Henderson in September with
good comments overall noting a few recommendations for the park operated
concessions and approved the upgrades to the Visitor Center display area and
improvements to the country store.
• The Blue Ridge Relay conducted the relay run starting teams out at Grayson
Highlands State Park to end in Asheville, NC with 1,100 participants.
• All trails were re-blazed and many signs throughout the park were upgraded to
the most recent specifications and worked on Cabin Creek and Wilson Creek
Trails (P86 Trail Grant improvements).
• Completed the 2009 Deer Lottery Hunt without any major incidents, had good
participation harvesting 35 deer for the three day hunting event.

Wilderness Road State Park

• Survived the arrival of a new Park Manager and have settled into a good, team
oriented, working relationship.
• Despite the poor economy, Park attendance is up by 20,000 visitors this year over
last. Total sales are up $4,000 over last year. Parking fees account for $2,000 of
that increase.
• Completed Chief Ranger’s residence and received Certificate of Occupancy for
John Hartley, his wife, and a new baby boy, Liam.
• Renovated former Chief Ranger’s residence into offices for Chief Rangers and
interpreters. Removed old carpeting, re-painted interior and installed evidence
locker in LE Chief Ranger’s office.
• Continue to work toward getting the park in compliance with LE General Orders
and have completed the Emergency Action Plan. LE General Orders inspection
conducted by Justin Moore from Natural Tunnel. Corrected all negatively noted
inspection points.
• Constructed, with YCC assistance, 300 yards of rail fencing bordering Route 640
and encompassing area that includes the back entrance to Park.
• Replace battens on fencing in the Buffalo field.
• Painted white fence around former Chief Ranger’s Residence.
• Re-fitted old mansion well house as a magazine for black powder storage. Gutted
interior, installed shelving, and re-painted. Installed required locking devices and
met all existing State laws for storage of black powder.
• Hosted a successful YCC group this past summer.
• VITA completed the refresh of all designated office computers and all POS CPUs
were replaced.
• Completed renovation of Karlan Mansion kitchen. Replaced ceiling, flooring and
walls. Installed all new appliances, cabinets and cabinet tops. Installed trim and
re-painted. Relocated interpreter’s offices to old Chief Ranger’s residence.
Removed old carpet from dining room, foyer, and stairs. Sanded and stained
floors in the front section of the mansion. Installed area rugs and window blinds.
The bottom level of the Mansion is now finished with the exception of
furnishings. Plans for the upstairs area include two bunk rooms for YCC
overnight program, visiting interpreters and program presenters who need
overnight accommodations. Improved landscaping around the Mansion and had
extensive tree work performed on the large Maple trees in front of Mansion
including removal and trimming.
• Landscaped in front of the VC, including installation of a butterfly garden where
there were once unsightly tree stumps.
• Moved forward with the process of acquiring land deed for the Wilderness Road
Trail from VDOT. Solicited abutting land owner John Ball regarding the sale of
three tracts of land that would give us direct access to the Cumberland Gap
National Historic Park.
• In an effort to involve the Park with the Community, the Park Manager has;
attended meetings of the Public Service Authority in efforts to improve water
quality in the Indian Creek with a decentralized wastewater treatment plant in
Ewing, attended dinner meetings with the Thomas Walker Civic Club, interacted

with the Lee County Tourism association, attended the Chamber of Commerce’s
annual picnic, attended all the Friends of Wilderness Road Meetings, attended
Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast and has spoken with State Delegate
Kilgore on several occasions about Community and Park issues.
• Park has now assumed responsibility as webmaster for Historic Martin Station
web page ( Created new web site for the
Friends of Wilderness Road. ( We now
manage the Park’s Flickr account. We have submitted numerous articles on the
VSP blog.
• 21,503 total volunteer hours for the year.
• Completed the 2009 Interpretive Summary highlighting the season’s interpretive
accomplishments and submitted for review by mid-September.
• Partnered with the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park on two programs. A
Shady Wet World on June 20th and Stories in Stone on August 15th. Spoke at the
CGNHP’s annual Leadership Retreat and committed to an improved, ongoing
relationship with them.
• In an effort to celebrate the natural resources of the Park, along with the historic
resources, we embarked on several new programs and events this year. In April,
we had Easter at Karlan. This event attracted 323 local kids who had a wonderful
time hunting Easter eggs on the Karlan Mansion lawn. The Extension Service
conducted a “Plants Around Us” program with Harold Jerrell and Dr. Ann Marie
Macaway, Wilderness Road Friends. In May we held a “Slitherin’ Snake
Adventure” for local citizens. June revealed two programs: “Our Feathered
Friends” and “A Shady, Wet World”. We brought back a very successful Junior
Rangers program this year in addition to our popular Junior Pioneer program. In
September we hosted a “Community Appreciation Day” which exceeded
expectations. More than 600 local citizens participated in a day of activities and
events and a hot dog lunch, free of charge! In December, Santa visited and we
compared Christmas present with Christmas past. Santa was in the VC and at the
Fort, we displayed how colonial Christmas was celebrated.
• Children’s games returned to the Wilderness Road Heritage Festival in October.
• Collaborated with Lee County Tourism and held our first “Pumpkins in the Park”
which was a huge success. An evening of activities, trick or treating and a
haunted trail ride on the Wilderness Trail attracted more than 1,300 guests.
• Hosted a successful Lee County Relay for Life.
• Hosted the Lee County Chamber of Commerce Farmer’s Market.
• Our history programs were more popular than ever. The “Raid at Martin’s Station
attracted 400 re-enactors and 4,000 visitors. The militia musters, held monthly,
continued to attract re-enactors and volunteers. During these musters, we held the
following programs. Virginia’s Frontier War, A Declaration of Independence,
Skills of the Frontier, Alarm at Martin’s Station, Boone the Pathfinder, Women
on the Frontier, The Long Hunters, Chain and Compass and A Frontier Christmas.
• Committed to be a part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip in
January hosting 100 local school kids for an interactive, live broadcast entitled
“Wilderness” highlighting CGNHP and WRSP.

• Maintained and improved Wilderness Road trail conditions. Added top dressing
to heavily used area of trail adjacent to Visitor’s Center. Blocked and gated
several areas on trail where 4 wheelers were gaining access.
• It was a very busy, very successful year at Wilderness Road State Park!

Please accept our apologies for any errors or omissions in this report. We will be
pleased to update the report with any new information provided.