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Posts Tagged #stauntonriverstatepark

IT’S SPRING & THAT MEANS KERR LAKE RISES – FOR UPDATES VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

Here we were almost showing up in the drought column in Piedmont North Carolina and Southside Virginia, then came the rains.  It’s Spring and especially during April, the showers that bring the flowers usually show up.

Kerr Lake is now over 306.5 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level – 300′ is normal full pool) and rising, expecting to crest between 309 and 310 feet.  A number of U S Army Corps of Engineers and North Carolina State Recreation Areas are either closed or partially closed due to the high waters.  We have had no information out of DCR or the Virginia State Parks.

We are currently posting information about parks and public use areas on Kerr Lake as the information is provided to us.  As the list of boat ramps and campsites inundated by water is constantly changing we will continue to post that information on our Facebook page which you can find at www.facebook.com/kerrlakeparkwatch.

If you have camping reservations from now through the weekend, Kerr Lake Park Watch suggests that you contact the reservation system for the public park entity as individual state and federal rangers may not have the latest information.

Kerr Lake Park Watch has asked the U S Army Corps of Engineers if the QRR Plan (Quasi-Run-of-River) adopted last year will hasten the departure of the flood waters.

In the final analysis, Kerr Lake is a reservoir, not a lake.  And this, well, it’s April and the showers.  You know that story.

Photo of Nutbush area 4/26/17 by Kelly N. Blake

Posted in: KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED

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FIRST OF ITS KIND SPLASH PARK IS COMING TO KERR LAKE – Virginia Governor Announces Park Improvement at Occoneechee Ground-Breaking

The 64-year old John H. Kerr Reservoir has seen a lot of changes and improvements during its lifetime.  A lot of those changes have been positive and directly made for the public’s use and enjoyment; among them campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas, hiking trails, playgrounds, restrooms and more.

At a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this week at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, Virginia a new, attraction-type of venue was unveiled, that is a “splash park” to be built within the park.  A splash park is described as a recreation area for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards or other supervision, as there is minor risk of drowning.  Designers and project managers for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Richmond design firm are calling Occoneechee’s new wet spot a “splashground.”

About 35 people attended the “by invitation only” event earlier this week at Occoneechee with most of those being public officials from DCR , the US Army Corps of Engineers (which has approved the project), Occoneechee and area park staff and a handful of local officials.

The main attraction was the combining of the ground-breaking and an official visit to Occoneechee by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who upon election, promised to visit every state park in the Commonwealth.  Occoneechee State Park was park to visit and the Governor made his promise become truth.  Twice the same day the governor visited the other Kerr Lake Virginia State Park, Staunton River.  While at Occoneechee, the affable McAuliffe commented to Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake that Occoneechee is a “gem” of a park with the added value of being on Kerr Lake.  He was surprised to learn that Timberlake has been visiting and/or camping at Occoneechee for over 50 years. McAuliffe asked Timberlake what has drawn him to the park and the Governor received a long, positive list.

McAuliffe was accompanied by some staff and security people, but he was also accompanied by some family members, including his niece shown below as they discussed the differences in the Kerr Lake parks from other Virginia State Parks.  She told Kerr Lake Park Watch that she particularly liked the fact that a major percentage of the water going out into the splashground will be recaptured and recycled through the system.  Kerr Lake Park Watch attempted to get more information on the reclamation system and its advantages from DCR but has received nothing by posting time.

Earlier this year commenting on the economic impact that Virginia State Parks make to the Commonwealth’s coffers, Governor McAuliffe said that the park system brought in visitor fees of $224 million in 2016.  Officials at the ceremony commented that Occoneechee State Park had revenues over $4 million last year.  The new “Splashground” will undoubtedly bring in more revenues as it will be a fee-based activity.  DCR officials anticipate that the Occoneechee splash park charge will be between $5 and $8 per person.   Park officials said that there’s a comparable sprayground at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, and the price there ranges from $5-$8, depending on the age and the day, with children under three getting free admission.  Projections on costs for the project that will take about a year to complete are between $1.5 million and $1.8 million.  The new splashground is expected to open Spring 2018.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park

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STARRY, STARRY NIGHT…AS THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT

 Staunton River Star Party public viewing night March 12

(SCOTTSBURG) – The public is invited to visit Staunton River State Park for an evening of stargazing on Saturday, March 12, 8 to 11 p.m. Visitors will be able to view a variety of planets, star clusters, and other celestial objects through telescopes. Seasoned astronomers will share information about the night sky.

Staunton River State Park was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in 2015. Staunton River Star Party takes place in the park twice a year, in March and April. Star party participants who have pre-registered will be set up in the observing field near the visitor center.

The park also offers star gazing programs throughout the year.

Visitors should dress for the weather and bring a flashlight, preferably one with a red lens. Red cellophane will be provided to cover flashlights if needed. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the “Deep Sky Diner” located in the park bathhouse.

Parking will be at the pool parking lot adjacent to the Visitor Center, in order to keep car headlights off the viewing area. The public viewing night on March 12 is free of charge.

For more information about the event visit www.stauntonriver-starparty.org

Staunton River State Park is located in Halifax County at 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA. For park information you may call 434-572-4623, or email stauntonriver@dcr.virginia.gov.

For general information or to make overnight reservations at Staunton River or any of Virginia’s 36 award-winning state parks go to www.virginiastateparks.gov or call toll-free 800-933-7275.

 

Posted in: KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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THIS IS STAR GAZING WEEK AT ONE OF THE KERR LAKE STATE PARKS IN VIRGINIA

Staunton River Star Party offers free public viewing night October 17

SCOTTSBURG – The Staunton River Star Party will return to Staunton River State Park Oct. 12 – 18 for registered participants. A free public viewing night will be offered on Saturday, October 17 from 8 to 11 p.m. Join members of the Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) for their fall star party. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the night sky, and view various celestial objects.

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Astronomers from across the country converge here in Halifax County each spring and fall to take advantage of the area’s exceptionally dark night skies. The star party also features guest speakers and a variety of vendors geared to astronomy enthusiasts.

Star party goers this year will also be celebrating the designation of Staunton River State Park as an “International Dark Sky Park,” the 25th park in the world to attain that status.

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Guests at the Saturday evening event will have a chance to mingle with amateur astronomers who will share their telescopes and their knowledge.

Stargazers should dress for the weather and bring a flashlight, preferably one with a red lens to preserve the dark night views. (Red cellophane will be provided for those who don’t have a red lens.) Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the beach concession area.

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Staunton River State Park is located in Halifax County at 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA. For specific information about the park you may call 434-572-4623, or email stauntonriver@dcr.virginia.gov.

For general information or to make overnight reservations at Staunton River or any of Virginia’s 36 award-winning state parks go to www.virginiastateparks.gov or call toll-free 800-933-7275.

 

Posted in: KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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