The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.
With an interest in fine art and a dream of owning his own business, Rick Turner felt like he didn’t quite belong at his job with the federal government. So, in 1973, Rick left his office gig behind and took a risk by opening his own shop. Settling into a quaint historic building, Rick enlisted his sister Lorraine to work in the shop. When the two started feeding large frame mouldings through a back window, they realized they needed a bigger space.
Today, at Turner Framing locations in Sterling and Seneca Square, the certified picture framers preserve children's artwork, needlepoint pieces, photographs, diplomas, and hole-in-one golf balls with museum-quality materials similar to those used in protecting King Tut's vacation photos.
With a vast collection of artifacts and archives, The Heritage Museum seeks to preserve and share the history of the Shenandoah Valley. Here, you can peruse displays that trace this history back prehistory, Native American settlement, and early American history. Local residents and visiting researchers can even chart their genealogy with help from a researcher at the museum's library.
The Building: The 14,000-square-foot building's exterior was built to look like a 19th-century farmstead.
Eye Catcher: The electric map that traces Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign in 1862 was first created by local department store employees for the Centennial Commission in 1962, making it an artifact itself. It was shown in downtown Harrisburg for decades.
Permanent Mainstay: In Invincible Spirit: History in the Heart of the Shenandoah, guests go back in time as they examine Native American artifacts, explore a replica of a 19th-century potter's kiln, and read stories about the Civil War's impact on local residents.
Past Exhibit: Civil War Letters displayed a trove of letters and Confederate cash found during the restoration of an historic home. The letters, written in 1863 and 1864, tell tales of struggle, battle, and romance. They are now part of the museum's archives.
While You?re in the Neighborhood: Next door to the museum is the historic Cromer-Trumbo House, built in the early 1800s. It holds period pieces such as household items, toys, and decor. The Silver Lake Mill and Fort Harrison are also located within walking distance.
Virginia Discovery Museum delights kids with interactive exhibits. For example, at a miniature Panera Bread stocked with toy food, tots can don real Panera aprons and take orders. They also pick fruit in an interactive play orchard, and go back in time and play in a log cabin from the 1700?s. For a brush with real nature, they can even observe bee behavior at the museum's enclosed hive.
Through the doors at Pots and Palettes’, Catherine—who occasionally dons the motherly teapot costume from Beauty and the Beast —cavorts from table to table, handing out friendly advice to children and adults as they paint selections from more than 500 bisque pottery pieces. Catherine and her artistic staff equip budding artists with all the necessary tools, including brushes, kilns, and fire hoses full of paint, to transform blank mugs and piggy banks into colorful works of art. Child- and adult-size tables set the stage for Family Thursdays, and date night on Fridays encourages flirty creativity with a two-for-one studio fee.