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The Rivanna Garden Club Wins Garden Club of Virginia's Commonwealth Award for Hatton Ferry Project

The Rivanna Garden Club’s “ Hatton Ferry Project” has been awarded the 2011 Common Wealth Award by the Garden Club of Virginia. Since 1979, the Common Wealth Award has provided an annual grant to one of its 47 member clubs to promote projects in the interest of conservation, beautification, horticulture, preservation and education. This year’s award provides a grant of $10,500.

The Rivanna Garden Club will assist the Hatton Ferry by replacing the information kiosk, providing landscaping, and placing substantial picnic tables and trash receptacles. The Club has identified plantings it will install both for beauty and erosion mitigation. By enhancing the beauty of the area, conserving the river bank and providing educational and recreational opportunities for the public, this award will help preserve a unique piece of Americana on the James River that is an asset not only to Virginia, but to our entire nation.

The last hand-poled ferry in the United States, Hatton Ferry crosses the historic James River from Albemarle into Buckingham County. The Ferry still offers free rides across the James—a living education in river transportation of yesteryear—and visitors can stroll riverbanks once peopled by Monacan Indians.

In operation since 1870, the ferry became a casualty of VDOT budget cuts in 2009. The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society assumed ownership then set up another non-profit entity called "Hatton Ferry" (a 501c3 corporation) to take title and run it. The two corporations are linked and are raising funds to keep it operational.

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