My home office is in a barn, which means I get to interact daily with the resident barn swallows, Hirundo rustica. Their Latin name means “from the country,” an emblematic moniker that I wish I could stick on the end of my name or title somehow… Swooping, diving, and catching their food in mid-air, they are a wonderful distraction for me to engage in.
Rappahannock County Park has been visited recently by the Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC), an AmeriCorps program of Conservation Legacy. The Piedmont Environmental Council, PEC’s Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County and Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) have partnered with the ACC to bring a crew of 6 young adults to the Piedmont region for tree plantings and trail maintenance projects.
Along the Rush River in the town of Washington, just a few miles east of the Shenandoah National Park, the 7.3-acre Rappahannock County Park is best known by locals for its pirate-ship playground, skate park, tennis courts, and picnic area. But, it has also come into focus recently for its natural beauty.
PEC has taken on the work of restoring local rivers by removing culverts and low-water crossings that can be roadblocks to stream health. By replacing these barriers on roads and driveways with fish- friendly designs, we are improving habitat and water quality.
Many aquatic species, including Virginia’s state fish, the Eastern brook trout, benefit from these restoration projects. Ideally, we hope these projects will influence government agencies to incorporate fish-friendly designs as they update roads and stream crossings.