The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has re-opened the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve in Fauquier and Prince William counties for the 2018 season. The preserve hours of operation are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The High Point cliff area, which is private property and has been closed by the landowner since January 2015, will remain closed for an ecological restoration process overseen by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
During the winter closure, VOF focused on capacity building, habitat restoration projects, and improving infrastructure. VOF also hired a new preserve technician, Char’Rese Finney, who is a recent graduate of environmental studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. There will also be two part-time preserve interpreters on staff this season to assist with management tasks and improve the visitor experience.
Volunteers and community partners helped with key projects during the winter closure. Janis Stone and others from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) cleared the trails after this year’s windstorm and last year’s tornado. The Stewardship Committee, which is a group of 30 citizen volunteers who have supported the preserve for nearly 25 years, provided vital infrastructure improvements, maintenance, and assistance with wildlife management. Local craftsman Redmond Manierre has helped to enhance preserve structures with his beautiful wood-working skill. The property’s neighbors at the main trail head, Turn the Mill Around Campaign and Bull Run Mountains Conservancy, have assisted in various ways. Turn the Mill Around Campaign collaborated with VOF over the winter to complete new fencing and security measures for the preserve, and Bull Run Mountains Conservancy continues to offer valued educational programming opportunities that aim to engage and impassion the local community.
“This continued support of the preserve’s management needs remains invaluable,” says Preserve Manager Joe Villari. “We look forward to strengthening and expanding these community partnerships in the coming years.”
More information about the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve can be found here.
Questions about coordinating a group program on the preserve or developing research activities may be directed to Joe Villari, (571) 438-8957, firstname.lastname@example.org.