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Celebrating the Roanoke!

There is so much good stuff happening along the Roanoke, I am just not sure where to begin. For a rural region located somewhat off the beaten path, the Roanoke has really been making the news lately– thanks to writers, photographers, trail users and great partners who have connected to us.

I will start by sharing the great news that our good friend and brilliant filmmaker, Art Howard, recently received a Telly Award (like an Emmy for a non-broadcast production) for his film about the Roanoke—We Are The River.

This beautiful film was originally commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science to be used as a teaching tool for elementary school viewers. Howard’s masterfully done piece weaves together aspects of both the environment and the cultural heritage of the Roanoke against a backdrop of native sights and sounds. We are very grateful to have Howard as a friend and powerful storyteller for the Roanoke!

You can view Howard’s award-winning film at https://www.tellyawards.com/winners/2018/non-broadcast/general-naturewildlife/we-are-the-river/198653.

Over the past few years, we have realized that the paddlers and campers that frequent the Roanoke are often among our best storytellers. That was confirmed recently by a two-day account of camping on our platforms written by Kathy Kyle. Kyle’s recent article was published in Backpacker Magazine. I think that she really nailed a sentiment others have reported about a stay on our platforms in her final quote, “It’s the best safari you can find this close to home.”

Check out Kyle’s personal account of her two-night Roanoke River platform camping experience in Backpacker Magazine at https://www.backpacker.com/trips/roanoake-river-national-wildlife-refuge

In addition to our Roanoke River story recently being shared by a uniquely talented friend and an avid outdoor adventurer, in early spring our phone rang and it was a free-lance writer doing a story for a Northern Virginia magazine who found us on-line. She was writing a story about great summer escapes and wanted to include the Roanoke as a stress-reducing, affordable way to beat the summer heat.

In Sklarew’s article for Northern Virginia Magazine she wrote, “The river has a rich history and an abundance of wildlife. Animals and fish that make this river their home include striped bass, catfish, heron, ducks, osprey and bald eagles. It’s not unusual to see raccoons, opossum, river otters, nutria, muskrats, beavers and even black bears on the riverbanks.”

For those of us lucky enough to live here, sightings of these and other wild species are not unusual and may even be common place. However, for folks who live in urban areas like Northern Virginia, the lush environment found along our Roanoke River Region can provide sought-after glimpses of nature to counter city life. I think many of our past campers would agree with Sklarew’s assertion that the Roanoke offers a great, affordable way to unwind.

Take a look at this Northern Virginia Magazine article at https://www.northernvirginiamag.com/things-to-do/travel/2018/06/21/summer-water-escapes-rivers/

See what I mean – so much to celebrate! Don’t know of many places that offer a better chance to escape to a wild, serene setting. Our river hosts an eco-system ready to dazzle the urban dweller and locals alike. Thus is the rich reward for those who dare to paddle, camp and explore the Roanoke!

Carol Jones Shields is the Executive Director of Roanoke River Partners, Inc. You can contact her at (252) 798-3920 or director@roanokeriverpartners.org. You can learn more about Roanoke River Partners at www.roanokeriverpartners.org.