Inspiring Environmental Stewards

The Chapman DeMary Trail

The beauty of the Chapman DeMary Trail encourages exploration of the outdoors and emphasizes stewardship in everyday activities. The trail is supported by the The Nature Generation, Loudoun Valley High School, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville.

The Chapman DeMary Trail, located in what is considered to be the last stand of old growth forest in the Town of Purcellville, provides amazing hands-on environmental learning opportunities to thousands of students throughout Loudoun County, and to even more residents and visitors!  It is located at 355 North Hatcher Avenue (behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road) in Purcellville, Virginia.

We offer free interpretive hikes throughout the year led by local experts on topics such as local birds, wildflowers, and trees on the trail. We also encourage you to walk the trail on your own any time to enjoy this beautiful resource. Signs and brochures available help you learn more about the flora and fauna on the trail while you get out for some fresh air and exercise. The entrance to the Chapman DeMary Trail is located behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville, Virginia.

Pollinator Plot on the Trail

The Nature Generation volunteers have begun the installation of a pollinator plot and monarch butterfly waystations on the Chapman DeMary Trail. This new habitat will provide food and shelter for a variety of pollinating creatures, and will also bring many stewardship and educational opportunities for students, scouts, and residents.

Pollinators are critical to our environment. They help in the reproduction process for many flowering plants and crops, as well as for fruit and seeds that other species eat to survive. Habitat loss and other changes are having a negative impact on pollinators, such as bumble bees which are in decline, as well as monarch butterflies, known for their amazing migration and which are also in significant decline. Habitats with flowers, shrubs, and trees that provide nectar and pollen resources with bloom times that overlap from spring through the fall can help!

Click here to learn more about the Pollinator Plot and Monarch Waystations.

Click here to read a New York Times article that details some of hurtles that insects must overcome in order to thrive in the United States.

The Trail to Water Quality Project

In June 2013, The Nature Generation (NatGen) proudly presented the Trail to Water Quality Project Water Quality Management Plan, the result of a 15-month project funded through a grant to NatGen from the Environmental Projection Agency (EPA-EE-11-02). The plan was the most significant outcome of NatGen’s Trail to Water Quality Project, implemented with Loudoun Valley High School (LVHS) on the portion of the South Fork Catoctin Creek that runs along the Chapman DeMary Trail. Results reported in this plan will be used as a baseline for future water monitoring and improvement efforts undertaken along the Chapman DeMary Trail.

Throughout the project, we worked closely with LVHS to implement the project which was designed to teach students the science of water quality through hands-on testing and evaluation. Over the course of the project, the three lead LVHS students conducted water monitoring efforts, tracked and monitored their results, researched and communicated information about water quality, wrote and delivered presentations, and educated others about water quality. All of these led to the impressive Water Quality Management Plan written and researched by these students and describes water quality testing, trends in water quality along the South Fork Catoctin Creek, information about the local watershed, and recommendations for future monitoring and stewardship efforts to help improve water quality. Through their efforts, these students engaged residents and other students in ways to improve water quality so that the important work these students have initiated will be sustained.  Click here to read more….

Did You Know?

…that you personally can have an impact on the health of the world’s oceans?   While polluted streams, rivers, bays, and ultimately oceans, can seem like an overwhelming global issue, your individual eco-friendly acts really do make a difference!

The Nature Generation is helping to clean up the South Fork Catoctin Creek, which winds along the Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville, Va., through water testing, clean up events, and community education.  Please join our efforts in keeping our water clean for generations to come.

So much of what reaches our waterways starts at home!  Here are a five easy steps anyone can take to protect our most valuable resource:

  1. 1 – Limit use of fertilizers and pesticides.
  2. 2 – Check your vehicle for drips and leaks.
  3. 3 – Reduce waste in the first place.
  4. 4 – Don’t litter.
  5. 5 – Pick up your pet’s waste.

Click here to learn more about non-point sources of pollution. We’d love to hear your stories and see your photos about your efforts on the trail — please send them to!

The Story of the Trail

Years ago, John DeMary, Loudoun Valley High School (LVHS) teacher and naturalist, and his students presented their vision of creatiing an outdoor classroom on 10 acres of undeveloped land near their school to Purcellville leaders and community members. John Chapman, owner of the land and father of a former student of Mr.DeMary’s, heard the presentation and was so impressed, he put the land into a conservation easement in 2008, and asked that LVHS students to be stewards of the area. Under the guidance of LVHS teachers John DeMary and Liam McGranaghan, students created and now maintain the trail by including cleaning the area, laying wood chips to mark the trail, planting trees and flowers, and building non-invasive bridges.

The The Nature Generation played a large role in establishing the conservation easement and continues to facilitate and coordinate enhancements and education on the trail. It was officially opened in October 2009, and is now available for all in Loudoun County to enjoy.

McGranaghan Stewardship Award

During the 2009 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the trail, the The Nature Generation announced and presented the first McGranaghan Stewardship Award to the LVHS teacher for whom it is named, Liam McGranaghan. This award was established to recognize his dedication and commitment to the trail. Future awards will be given to individuals or groups who demonstrate good stewardship of the trail.

Support the Chapman DeMary Trail

You can become part of this inspirational effort initiated by local students and make a difference in their lives and education! Your gift will help students fulfill their role as stewards of the trail, and encourage environmental learning and experiences among students and residents throughout Loudoun!

Please show you community support by becoming a sponsor of the trail. Click here to see a .pdf of Chapman DeMary Trail Sponsorship Opportunities 2016

The Nature Generation thanks the following businesses and individuals for supporting environmental education on the Chapman DeMary Trail.

Leader – $5000

Dominion Bank

Middleburg Bank

Purcellville Gazette

Naturalists ($1000)

Jason Sengpiehl, Allstate Insurance

Maid Brigade

Steward ($500)

Bank of Clarke County

Cabinet Showplace

Fieldstone Farm Bed and Breakfast

Purcellville Copy

Purcellville Rotary Club

Wholesale Screening Solutions

Pollinators ($250)

Browning Equipment, Inc.

Hudimac & Company

It’s a Peace of Cake Catering

The Jimmersons

The Robic Family

Watermark Woods

Zicht & Associates

Working together to make a difference.  The Chapman DeMary Trail is maintained by students, volunteers, and The Nature Generation and relies on the generosity of the community. For information on how you can become a sponsor of the trail, contact

"This beautiful trail provides a great opportunity for students and the general public to study the natural sciences or just enjoy spending time outside. Volunteering at the trail clean up days and other events gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I enjoy working together with other members of my community to preserve and improve this wonderful trail."

~ - NatGen Volunteer ~

Eco Tips

The average person uses how many gallons of water each day?

  1. 10 gallons
  2. 50 gallons
  3. 100 gallons
  4. 500 Gallons
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