Hoedown for the Shenandoah

You don’t have to be a hardcore fisherman or boater to go. Maybe you just like to walk your dog on Tilthammer Mill or Lockes Mill Road, or maybe you just admire the Shenandoah River when you drive over it. Regardless of how or why you treasure the river, you’re invited to a hoedown celebration and fundraiser at George Ohrstrom’s Barn Camden, 400 Sunny Canyon Lane, Boyce. The event takes place Saturday, October 25, 4pm till twilight.

The hoedown will be filled with country shenanigans like cornhole, Best Camo King & Queen contest, hay bale throwing, music and dancing, local brews, and a pig pickin’.

The nonprofit Shenandoah Riverkeeper, a branch of Potomac Riverkeeper Network, is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Shenandoah River throughout Virginia. “People in the Valley have very fond feelings for the river and many are drawn to it,” said Shenandoah Riverkeeper Jeff Kelble, who founded the effort in 2005 and is now president of Potomac Riverkeeper Network. “We like to think of our event as a way that our friends can enjoy a fun afternoon and express their interest in protecting this river.”

Shenandoah Riverkeeper’s mission is to assess major pollution threats and maximize pollution reduction by seeking polluter compliance with environmental laws, governmental reform, lawmaking, and community action in order to enhance and protect public use of the Shenandoah.

“This event is our first full-blown fundraiser after operating in Clarke County for nine years,” said Kelble. “We have put together what we hope will be a fun event, one that is also designed to support the work we do to protect and enhance the iconic Shenandoah River.”

Kelble says that in nine years the organization has amassed quite a few “feathers in our hat,” including sweeping regulatory improvements in construction-site pollution controls, poultry manure use, and urban runoff. “We have discovered and eliminated the illegal pollution from nearly a dozen major sources, and we have worked with dozens of landowners to bring better winter feeding and manure storage practices as well as stream fencing,” said Kelble.

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is funded entirely by private donors and foundations, notes Kelble. “In 13 years of operation, the Network has received just one small government grant. We feel this is critical because when it’s time to take positions on difficult issues, we don’t want to have to think of which governmental organization or business we might not get funding from next year as a result. We also feel this makes our advocacy very community driven.”

For information visit http://potomacriverkeeper.org/harvesthoedown.