Fincastle resident Margaret ” Peggy” Crosson received an award for her efforts on the NPS proposed Lewis and Clark Eastern Legacy Trail from the Southern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia.
The annual Ruth Anderson McCulloch Historic Preservation Award was presented to Ms. Margaret (Peggy) W. Crosson, Board member of the SSVBPV and Chair of the Lewis and Clark Committee, for her outstanding contributions to the cause of regional preservation in Virginia. Since the branch unanimously voted to adopt the Lewis and Clark Eastern Legacy Trail Initiative as a major project, Crosson acting as committee chair, has devoted thousands of hours of volunteer time communicating with members of the National Park Service, the Lewis and Clark Trust, as well as local, state and national representatives in a strong advocacy effort to inform and organize those that have ultimately become our regional partners — including Botetourt, Rockbridge, Augusta and Albemarle Counties — in the effort to make the trail a reality. According to Director Kurt C. Russ who presented the award, “Peggy’s work has been so impressive in its vision and execution that the National Park Service plans to use her strategies and organizational model as an example for other regions to look to as they pursue having their connecting trail segments recognized and included in the project.” Jim Mallory, President of the Lewis and Clark Trust, upon hearing of the award offered the following comment, “it is with great pleasure that I add my personal support as well as that of the Lewis and Clark Trust for recognition of Margaret (Peggy) Crosson for her outstanding leadership on the completion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail project. Her energy and ability to bring others to this project has been a blessing for this extremely important project that will have a significant impact on the entire nation.”
The annual Southern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia membership meeting was recently held at Kendal of Lexington. Director Kurt C. Russ reviewed 2012 branch activities beginning with a discussion of the Lewis and Clark Eastern Legacy Trail project workshop held coincident with last year’s annual meeting including a three member team from the National Park Service. The goals of exploring and better defining historical details of Lewis and Clark trail routes running from Botetourt through Augusta counties was initiated then and has been ongoing for much of this past year.
At that time, the National Park Service officials toured sites and routes in both Botetourt — focusing on the Fincastle area, Rockbridge — focusing on the region surrounding Natural Bridge and Lexington, and Augusta – focusing on the expedition party member John Colter. The NPS officials being impressed with the communities’ enthusiastic response to the proposed project and determination to see it forward, reached a consensus of agreement that the three key requirements for the localities’ inclusion on the trail, as indicated by Congress, could easily be met. These include the ongoing establishment of regional and local partnerships, the demonstrated community cooperation and shared interests toward the common goal of trail establishment, and corroborated data and resources supporting our community’s historical connection to the Lewis and Clark trail.
The SSVBPV Board members David Coffey, Nan Wolf, Jean Robinson, Kurt Kunze, Peggy Crosson (Chair of the Lewis and Clark Legacy Trail Committee), Anne Herring, Amy Tillerson, and Maury Hanson (Chair, Friends of McDowell Cemetery), with terms on the board continuing through 2013. The current officers, forming the executive committee, include Ken Koons, Vice-Director; Arthur Bartenstein, Secretary; Anne Demsky, Treasurer; and Kurt Russ, Director.
– submitted by Southern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia