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Albemarle County Newsroom

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Ivy Creek Barn Set to Reopen April 21
4/17/2012

The Ivy Creek Foundation, Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville are proud to announce the reopening of the historic Ivy Creek barn on Saturday, April 21, at 2:00 pm.  The reopening ceremony will feature donors to the project along with representatives from the Ivy Creek Foundation and local elected officials.  Local educator Mary Carr Greer’s husband, Conly, built the barn in the 1930s as a state-of-the-art facility. It remains the only barn on the African American Heritage Trail built by a free African American in Virginia. The Ivy Creek barn has been an essential asset to the Ivy Creek Foundation’s school tour program. In July 2010, the barn had to be closed due to safety issues. 

No one took it lightly when the Ivy Creek barn was closed, acknowledging its importance as a community asset.  After hard work by many generous and committed donors, including Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and the Perry Foundation in honor of Francis Fife, the work needed to make the barn safe again is complete and we can reopen it to the public.

Background:
The barn at the Ivy Creek Natural Area was built in the early 1930s by Conly Greer on River View Farm as a modern, up-to-date facility. It housed horses, cows, pigs, and the winter food supply necessary for successful livestock farming. Conly Greer, the first African American agricultural extension agent in Albemarle County, also used it as a model for other farms in the area. The barn’s construction was unique in part because trees growing on the farm, sawn into lumber by a portable sawmill, provided the building material.

The Ivy Creek Foundations offers nature tours to the schools and other groups as a free, public service. Through these tours, the Ivy Creek Natural Area serves as an outdoor classroom for study of the natural world. Students of all ages report a new and powerful experience each time they visit Ivy Creek’s diverse habitat as interpreted by our expert volunteer guides. The barn has been one of the highlights of these tours. It is in the barn where the rich African American history celebrated by the Foundation comes to life for the children.


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