As River Steward for the city of Fredericksburg and Stafford County, I am proud to do my part to carry on FOR’s legacy as a fierce advocate for the Rappahannock River. That includes every stream, wetland and pond in the river system, as well as the lands that drain into them.
For you to understand what brought me to this point, I have to tell you about a pond. I grew up in Spotsylvania in a suburban home with an old farm pond in the backyard. When my family built our house, we were surrounded on two sides by forests and fields. Ten years later, a sprawling subdivision had taken their place. During construction, silt streamed into the creek and smothered the wetland plants and grasses in the pond. Even at a young age, I was old enough to notice as the once-abundant crayfish disappeared and the fish became harder to catch.
My upbringing made me acutely aware of how development affects our waters. It energizes me and reminds me that every water body matters, no matter how small. As river steward, I want to help our community grow in a way that not only protects, but actively restores our clean water resources.
It’s tough to be optimistic when you work in conservation. But nonetheless, my experience has taught me that I should be. The old pond now looks healthier than ever. Once construction ceased, nature slowly bounced back. wetland grasses and willow saplings now envelop the banks like never before, shading and cooling the water and protecting juvenile fish and spring peepers in the shallows. Sometimes if you give nature an inch, it’ll take a mile.
In the face of powerful and unyielding population pressure, it will take powerful optimism and passion to defend and restore the water resources of Fredericksburg and Stafford. But I look forward to serving my home river and taking on this challenge.
Fredericksburg & Stafford
540.373.3448 ext. 115