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“Celebrate Shenandoah” Officially Created to Continue Efforts to Support Shenandoah National Park

On Thursday, April 11, representatives of various local government organizations that surround Shenandoah National Park met officially for the first time to begin efforts to build on the success of the 75th Anniversary of the Shenandoah National Park.  Groups that have committed to becoming part of the Celebrate Shenandoah Group include:

  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Albemarle County
  • Augusta County
  • Greene County
  • Madison County
  • Nelson County
  • Page County
  • Rappahannock County
  • Rockingham County
  • Warren County
  • Delaware North
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
  • Shenandoah National Park Association
  • Shenandoah National Park Trust
  • Valley Conservation Council
  • City of Harrisonburg
  • City of Staunton
  • City of Waynesboro
  • Amherst County
  • Culpeper County
  • Highland County
  • Orange County
  • Rockbridge County

The mission of the Celebrate Shenandoah Group is to inspire the public to value the Park and region’s resources in Shenandoah’s Blue Ridge Mountains and infuse surrounding communities in the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont with a sense of ownership and pride in the Park and region.  Among the goals adopted to help carry out this mission are:

  • Engage and continue successful community dialogue strengthened during the Park’s 75th anniversary
  • Positively affect the health of the Park and region (economics, resources, etc.)
  • Collaborate regionally to promote and market the Park and surrounding region

At the meeting Warren County Administrator Douglas Stanley was elected Chairman, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Kurt Burkhart Vice-Chairman and Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy Secretary.

According to Stanley, “We see this as an effort to bring the gateway communities together to work cooperatively to better utilize and benefit from this great treasure that we have in our backyard called Shenandoah National Park.  I really believe that most of our communities have failed at to fully take advantage of the Park and have failed to realize that we need to work together to enhance and improve our gateways, do a better job of marketing ourselves and the Park and working collaboratively to strengthen the relationship with the Park.  The 75th Anniversary really showed what can be accomplished by pulling all of this talent into one room.”

Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy added, “I hope that Celebrate Shenandoah Group will allow Rappahannock County's long and fruitful relationship with Shenandoah National Park to expand to include their other neighbors, in everyone's best interests.”

 Shenandoah National Park Superintendent Jim Northup said "We are so honored that this group has chosen to come together and build upon the very positive relationships and progress that was made during the planning for the Park's 75th anniversary celebration.  I am committed to working closely with all of the communities surrounding the Park and believe the Celebrate Shenandoah Group provides an outstanding framework for doing so". 

The group will meet on a quarterly basis and rotate its meetings throughout out the region.

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