Tree Planting at McCormick Farm


HMNs Peggy Plass, Cyane Lowden, Ann Murray, Tom Engle, and Sandy Greene, with Caroline Fitzgerald, Student Society of American Forester’s representative, Forester Charlie Huppuch, and Extension Forester Adam Downing. We planted 50 native trees along the Marl Creek Trail on 3/12/2021. Photo by Sandy Greene.

Planting trees and maintaining the Marl Creek Trail at McCormick Farm (Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center) in Raphine, has been an annual project since our chapter began. Working with Retired USFS Forester (and the trail’s designer) Charlie Huppuch, we are restoring many native trees, shrubs, and perennial species to the riparian buffer trail. Last year, our chapter also contributed to the fund to replace the interpretive signs, which were over 15 years old and sun-damaged. The new signs are really beautiful, and tell the stories of riparian ecology and stream health. 

The 2/3 mile Marl Creek Trail is free and open to the public every day. Beginning at the historic mill and passing by the millpond and along the stream, it is popular with birders, hikers, and travelers. Come walk it yourself!  

Take the Raphine – Steele’s Tavern exit off I-81 on the border between Augusta and Rockbridge Counties. It’s less than a mile to McCormick Farm, with plenty of parking and restrooms open in the log cabin from April to October. During Covid, the museum and mill are only open by appointment, but you are still welcome to walk around them. 

by Sandy Greene