Please note: As a result of inclement weather, Earth Day at Cool Spring has been postponed to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23, rain or shine.
Nature walks and a historic landscape presentation will take place at the Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield in Clarke County on Saturday, April 22, to commemorate Earth Day.
Led by Shenandoah University undergraduates in the university’s Environmental Studies Program, the nature walks will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Students will set up information stations along a 1.2-mile portion of the property’s paved paths.
Starting at the parking lot beside the Cool Spring river campus lodge, guests can visit the information stations to learn more about the property’s natural features and how they are being protected. People of all ages are welcome. In case of bad weather, the event will be postponed to Sunday, April 23, at the same times.
Topics will include the Shenandoah River, controlled burns, trees, wildflowers, the history of Cool Spring, meadow and forest animals, and aquatic life. Visitors can also view the heron rookery and an eagle nest.
From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., an area on the property with be open for visitors to plant their own seed in a carton which they can take home as a way to remember what they learned at the Earth Day at Cool Spring program.
From 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Director of the Shenandoah University McCormick Civil War Institute Jonathan Noyalas ’01, M.A., will discuss managing, preserving, and interpreting the historic landscape of the river campus. During his presentation,“The Soil is Sacred Now,” Noyalas will lead visitors around the property to help them understand the various preservation and interpretive challenges the river campus presents and how the university attempts to address those myriad challenges.
The 11 Shenandoah University undergraduates organizing the event are enrolled in the environmental studies program’s Environmental Education (ES 340) course this semester. Taught by Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology Woodward Bousquet, Ph.D., the course engages students in two service-learning projects.
In addition to this Earth Day program at the Cool Spring campus, the ES 340 students are working with teachers at Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School in Winchester. The Shenandoah students will lead a field trip to the Abrams Creek Wetlands Preserve for more than 80 kindergarten students from Virginia Avenue.