This fall, the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an outdoor education nonprofit organization in Troutdale, Va., celebrated their 10-year anniversary with an open house on October 13 at what will be their new center location. The event featured nature walks, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts and cider making.
The organization plans to move to a historical building that dates to 1926, which is on the same property as the current office. The space will function as an educational facility, biological field station and base for youth and adults exploring the natural wonders of the Mt. Rogers area.
Blue Ridge Discovery Center focuses on connecting the local community with the environment through programs including nature explorations, habitat restoration projects, and educational youth field trips and summer camps. The organization hosts programs that draw adults as well, such as the Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally, which attracts people from all over the region to explore the area’s natural history. In the past, the rally has occurred twice yearly as a camping event, but the new facility will allow the organization to host the event four times a year by providing lodging.
According to Executive Director Aaron Floyd, the new building will also allow the organization to operate multi-day programs and host people traveling from farther away.
“Whereas in the past a lot of our programs were on a short timeframe, we hope to engage those individuals over an extended period and hopefully have a bigger impact on their lives and reconnect them with the outdoors and wildlife, and hopefully increase awareness of our community in the long run,” says Floyd.
— By Kennedy Kavanaugh