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Shenandoah National Park Trust Grants Announced

Old Rag View Overlook; under construction and finished in a hand colored postcard.
Old Rag View Overlook; Under construction and in an early hand colored postcard.
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News Release Date: July 21, 2006
Contact: Karen Beck-Herzog, 540-999-3300
Contact: Cathy McNair, 540-255-1029

Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright is pleased to announce that the Trustees of the Shenandoah National Park Trust will fund two important projects in the park during the fiscal year 2007. The Trust is granting $62,000 to restore the Old Rag View Overlook and implement a new interpretive tool for visitors.

"We’re grateful that the Trust is committed to supporting the park, protecting park resources and improving the visitor experience," stated Cartwright. He added, "We’re also excited that the Trustees are helping us celebrate the 75th anniversary of Skyline Drive by restoring this historic overlook." Groundbreaking for the Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds along the crest of the mountains through the length of the park, began in July, 1931. The Drive also features 75 overlooks constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to allow visitors spectacular views of the Virginia Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley. The Old Rag View Overlook, located at Milepost 46.5, is one of the park's earliest overlooks. Originally it was bordered by a chestnut log guide rail. The view of the popular Old Rag Mountain was then created -- just as it is today -- by the selective removal of trees and shrubs on the slope to the east. The restoration project will preserve the view and recreate the look of the original log guide rail.

The Park and the Trust are committed to improving the experience of the visitor and are excited to introduce the GPS (Global Positioning System) Ranger ™, a hand held mobile guiding device that can deliver interpretive messages to visitors as they experience the beauty, meaning, and stories of park resources. The GPS Ranger automatically delivers interpretive messages when a visitor approaches the pre-programmed GPS coordinates that correspond to points of interest within the park. The park expects to implement the technology next summer.

Peter Rice, SNPT Chairman said, "The trustees are pleased to support these two exciting projects, which will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors to our beautiful Park over the years to come."

Over the past two years the Trust has provided funds to expand the park’s award winning Junior Ranger program and support the Youth Conservation Corps program.

"We hope this will be the beginning of a long tradition of supporting worthwhile projects in the park." stated Cartwright. He added, "We know the support of the Shenandoah National Park Trust is made possible through the contributions of private donors, both locally and nationally. We appreciate everyone’s support."

Editor’s note: A photograph (209 kb) of the CCC constructing the guide rail at Old Rag View Overlook and an image of a historic postcard (308 kb) picturing the overlook are available.

-NPS-

The Shenandoah National Park Trust mission: to support the preservation of the outstanding natural beauty and cultural heritage of Shenandoah National Park for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations by fostering public awareness and education, encouraging private philanthropy, and seeking public support. For additional information regarding the Shenandoah National Park Trust, contact Cathy McNair at 202-238-4219 or E-Mail

Did You Know?

A huge fieldstone fireplace, built by U.S. Marines, is the centerpiece of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover’s sitting room at Rapidan Camp

Visitors to Shenandoah National Park can visit President Herbert Hoover’s rustic and beautiful summer vacation home, Rapidan Camp.