Inspiring Environmental Stewards

Awards and Dedication on the Trail

Have you ever had a friend you can always count on in a pinch?  One who never hesitates to chip in and lend a hand?  Both recipients of the annual McGranaghan Stewardship award this year are that kind of friend to the Chapman DeMary Trail, along with other special individuals who received recognition at the annual Hail to the Trail event on Sunday, October 22.

The Nature Generation established the McGranaghan Stewardship award in 2009 to recognize volunteers who care for and enhance the habitat on the trail and encourage youth and the community to be good stewards. This year, the award was presented to Patti Yarbrough and Boy Scout Troop 961.

Patti  Yarbrough is a familiar face at the trail.  She’s been seen counting creek creatures with kids and families on water quality day to monitor the health of the creek, hauling away trash on a cleanup day, or leading groups of students during field trips.  Patti’s enthusiasm for helping monarchs and her love of nature kept her coming back to work with The Nature Generation on the monarch waystation and to help inspire the next generation to be good stewards. She always helped spread the word about efforts at the Chapman DeMary Trail. During her work on the pollinator meadow at the trail, she became so inspired by the plight of disappearing bees and monarchs that she spearheaded a new pollinator garden in her own neighborhood.  Thanks to Patti’s time and support of educational activities, more kids in the county are learning how to protect nature.

The moment the waters receded from a flood caused by rains over the summer, Boy Scout Troop 961 answered the call for help to move the heavy picnic tables back into place in the trail’s outdoor classroom and to replace the foot bridges along the path that had washed away. The troop also helped establish monthly trail clean up days and always showed up to help the habitat by removing trash along the trail and removing invasives to help the pollinator meadow thrive. Boy Scout Troop 961’s efforts at the Chapman DeMary Trail have consistently demonstrated their dedication to the environment, stewardship, education, and our community.

The McGranaghan Stewardship Award is named after Loudoun Valley High School Environmental Explorations teacher Liam McGranaghan. He demonstrates what it means to be a good steward of the environment with his students and with the community through his work at the Chapman DeMary Trail and other areas. He and his students were instrumental in establishing the nature trail and continue to serve as stewards of the 10-acre habitat.

The Girl Scouts also are doing their part to make the trail an educational resource by installing a small community library at the trail, stocked with books about nature.

During the Hail the Trail event, the pollinator habitat on the trail was officially named the “Amie Ware Pollinator Meadow,” in recognition of Amie’s vision and dedication to the trail.  The announcement was made by The Nature Generation Founder and President Amy Marasco, on behalf of her organization and other trail partners, Loudoun Valley High School and the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Amie Ware is active on the trail, at the Old Stone School and throughout the community.  Since 2008, she has been transforming the trail into a treasured community asset. She also grew as a photographer and naturalist and is very often on the trail documenting both the wildlife and human visitors.  She coordinated field trips for local schools and for school kids in DC who don’t always have the luxury of spending the day in nature.  Amie was also responsible for coordinating the documentation of the flora and fauna on the trail, and posted markers and educational materials so visitors could learn more about nature, too.  Her love of nature is infectious, and she mentored several students and scouts on their projects on the trail and helped plant a pollinator garden at local schools.

Dominion and New Trail Sponsors Support the Trail

The Dominion Foundation showed its community support and presented a check to The Nature Generation for $25,000, earmarked for making the Chapman DeMary Trail more accessible by replacing existing footbridges and installing sections of boardwalk. Funds from this grant will also be used to develop educational materials to provide more information about the habitat which will be available at the trail throughout the year.

Two new trail sponsors have added their names to the trail sponsor sign: American Hiking Society and Watermark Woods.  Thank you to these and others who have joined the growing list of supporters of our local community treasure:  Dominion Foundation, Middleburg Bank, Purcellville Gazette, Jason Sengpiehl, Allstate Insurance , Maid Brigade, Bank of Clarke County, Cabinet Showplace,  Fieldstone Farm Bed and Breakfast, Purcellville Copy,  Purcellville Rotary Club, Wholesale Screening Solutions, Browning Equipment, Inc., Hudimac & Company, It’s a Peace of Cake Catering, The Jimmersons, The Robic Family and  Zicht & Associates.

To learn more about the awards and how you can become a Friend of the Chapman DeMary Trail to support and enhance this habitat, contact



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