The Foundation for Virginia’s Natural Resources (FVNR) is a new “body politic” with the purpose to strengthen environmental education (K- 12 and community based) and citizen stewardship programs that serve the Commonwealth of Virginia.The first year of our existence has been spent with s concerted effort to develop a specific plan to achieve the mandates of the enabling legislation. A draft plan will be presented at our fourth board meeting of the year on October 11, 2006. In a nutshell we have two goals:    

 

  • Find sponsorships and support from diverse (and sometimes non-traditional) sources for effective public and private programs that address environmental education, pollution prevention, and citizen monitoring of the state’s natural resources. Examples of these sources include businesses, local government, state and federal agencies, philanthropists and foundations, churches and civic groups, and perhaps most importantly the average interested citizen looking for a meaningful way to be part of natural resource protection.
  • Provide a source of information to interested citizens about how environmental protection occurs in Virginia, existing conditions in their own local watershed or river basin, and meaningful opportunities for them to be involved and use their particular skill.

FVNR’s activities will be designed to complement and never duplicate existing efforts of public and private programs such as Tributary Strategies, River Basin Roundtables, Virginia Forever and other initiatives. We hope to bring sustainability to strategies that are developed and implemented on a major river basin basis. For our purposes Virginia has 13 major river basins: the Shenandoah, the Potomac, the Rappahannock, the York, the Eastern Shore, the Chowan (Meherrin, Nottoway, Blackwater system in VA), the Upper James, the Piedmont James, the Lower James, the Roanoke, the New River, the Upper Tennessee system, and finally the Big Sandy (the Levisa in VA). 
An important part of the mission of FVNR will be to make a connection between natural resource protection and the benefits of agriculture, forestry, and historic and cultural resources in the Commonwealth.  
By the end of 2006 the board plans to have a unique and effective plan to reach out to Virginia and strengthen existing efforts such as Virginia Naturally and citizen monitoring programs. We will identify all of the incentives for investment of dollars and manpower that we possibly can. We will identify a set of specific goals such as making sure that every public school in Virginia has access to an “outdoor classroom”. 
We need your ideas and suggestions and, if possible, active partnership!

Jay Gilliam – Chairman – Raphine, VA – 540 377 6179 – jay@vasos.org