Rockfish Valley News: July 2021

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Bob West and Sarah Jane Stewart express their thanks to gathering.

Fond Farewell

A gathering was held outdoors at Rockfish Valley Community Center (RVCC) June 12 for Sarah Jane Stewart and Bob West. Their home at 4547 Taylor Creek Road in Afton is sold and they will be sorely missed. Much appreciation was expressed for the many substantial contributions they have made to the Rockfish Valley and Nelson County as a whole. West was a key developer of The Nelson Center, refurbished from the old Lovingston School into the modern meeting and office space. Stewart was instrumental in the development of Blue Ridge Medical Center as the home of Rural Health Outreach Program. She also served on the Rockfish Valley Community Center Board of Directors for a decade, including two terms as president. Stewart spoke to the gathering of well-wishers to express thanks and said, “This love of community expressed here needs to be passed on to the next generation of younger people.” The couple is moving to their family property in Boone, N.C.

Resolution for Celebration

At their June 8 meeting, Nelson County Board of Supervisors passed Resolution R2021-36 in recognition of the Anniversary of Cancellation of Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Recognition of the success of citizen-led efforts was meant to celebrate this accomplishment. 

When the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was cancelled on July 5, 2020, Covid-19 restrictions made large gatherings impossible. Now with most people vaccinated, a Friends of Nelson Victory Celebration is planned for Saturday, July 10, at RVCC. This in-person celebration will be outside under the tents from 5 to 9 p.m. Live music is planned, and those attending are invited to bring a picnic style dinner. 

Wintergreen Music Festival

Beginning on July 7 and continuing through August 1, Wintergreen Music is celebrating The Year of the Festival Artist with musicians and events at both the mountaintop in Dunlop Pavilion and in the Rockfish Valley. Tickets are on sale at Wintergreen-Music.org. 

Sunday, July 11, from 7 to 8 p.m., Brass in the Valley is offered at Rockfish Valley Community Center’s outdoor pavilion. Admission is free and donations are appreciated to benefit both RVCC and Wintergreen Music Festival. Boisterous brass music is promised to feature Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes,” Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and Bizet’s music from Carmen, “Habanera.” Picnic dinners are welcome but no outside alcohol permitted. 

A second free “Pop-Up” performance will be offered Friday, July 16, at 5 p.m. at Valley Road Vineyard on Route 151. Additional updates and artist lineup are available on Facebook and Instagram @Wintergreen Music.

Nelson Skate Park Farewell to the Old Ramp

Jessica Mauzy, a Landscape Architect with LPDA, has been working on a pro-bono basis with RVCC staff and volunteers to create a plan for the relocation of the 2009-era skate park. Mauzy founded the Crozet Trails Crew and is renowned for her local work. The new skate ramp has attracted donors under a “Revamp the Ramp” tagline and costs are significant. The park will be relocated and expanded by the end of 2021. Mauzy has created an entire revised master plan for the grounds that is currently undergoing a review. 

The MinPin Skate Competition will be inviting skaters to Game of SKATE best trick contests to be held at the RVCC Skate Park Saturday, July 24 from 4 until 9 p.m. Live music is offered by Seventh-Grade Girl-Fight using a small, “acoustic type” sound system. Slice Versa will offer pizza. Blue Ridge Pig and other food or craft vendors are also planned. 

Action for All will be a sponsor, along with Freestyle, Esoteric Skateboard & Snowboard Manufacturing, Blue Ridge Pig and Blue Ridge Bucha. 

Vendors including B Cool Clothing, Beautiful Skate-boarding, Jnutz Glass Artist, Bakwud Skateboards, Albemarle Hemp Company, Tie Dye Ri Clothing and Sploosh Wax may also offer prizes and auction items. 

All Sk8Nelson jams have been open to the public, and it looks like this will be the last summer for the old ramp.

Fireman’s Carnival Returns

“After a rough year with the pandemic we are getting our carnival going again to bring happiness back to the community,” said Lindsey Craig, Rockfish Valley Volunteer Fire Department president. Both Justin and Lindsey Craig are the contacts for the event August 5 to 7 at the RVVFD on Route 151. They are looking to add vendors and live music to the event. For more information, visit rvvfdco5.wixsite.com/rockfishfire. 

Traffic Detour Woes

Rockfish Gap Country Store’s owner Kerry Gates said “Business is slow” since the May rockslide on Rt. 250. Without the through traffic, the store, just west of the Rt. 151 intersection, has lost many customers. Gates expressed her “hope that faithful customers will come out here” to sustain their business, which remains open. 

Tractor-Trailer attempts curve on Route 6 wheels off road destroys guardrail.

Tractor-trailer trucks continue to use GPS guidance to travel on Route 6, which has caused damage to the road and mailboxes along the way. Numerous signs have been posted and State Police have issued tickets to the worst offenders who get stuck and block the road for hours. The volume of commuters traveling the road detour to get to Waynesboro has added to the area problems, with speed and careless driving disturbing the community. 

A June 25 VDOT news release identified a second area nearby with indications of a possible future slide that is now included in the stabilization project. Lou Hatter, VDOT communications manager, said, “Both of the contractors are working six days a week to stabilize the slope…. The repair is expected to be completed on time in July.”

Photography Exhibit 

The Charlottesville Camera Club has created a member exhibit at Rockfish Valley Community Center auditorium through July 2021. The exhibition includes more than 90 images by 29 club members. More information is available at cvillecameraclub.org. 

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