Awards Spotlight Development Projects – Luray Home Among 11 Selected In Valley
By CANDACE SIPOS
Daily News-Record HARRISONBURG —
An 18th century home in Luray, a garden center in Woodstock and a years-long street improvement project in Winchester all have something in common as of last week. They’re three of 11 development projects across the Valley, including two others in Shenandoah County, to have received 2013 Better Models for Development Awards from Valley Conservation Council.
Project representatives accepted awards during a ceremony in Staunton, where the organization is based. The awards highlight recently completed projects that enhance the character of Valley communities while also minimizing impacts on natural and cultural resources.
While the economic downturn led to a lack of development projects to choose from in previous years, a “good batch” of applicants came in this time around, according to Sara Hollberg, a planner with VCC.
One of the recipients is White House Farm in Luray, a 270-acre property purchased by Scott Plein in 2005. In addition to being one of the oldest structures in Page County — a large white house built in 1760 — the site includes a circa-1890 farmhouse, silo and other buildings.
Plein has restored the structures and is creating a 52-acre riparian buffer along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, which runs alongside the farm for about a mile, as well as a plant nursery devoted to native Virginia trees. In 2010, he created the White House Farm Foundation, an educational and research center focused on conservation and ecology. Roughly 450 people, many of them students, visited the foundation run on the farm last year, according to foundation Executive Director Chris Anderson.
Three projects in Shenandoah County also earned awards: the Toms Brook School Apartments in Toms Brook, and Fort Valley Nursery and Indian Spring Wetland Park, both in Woodstock. “It’s not your average garden center,” said Terry Fogle, one of the three owners of Fort Valley Nursery. Their 5-acre site contains a nursery, European- style garden café and event center. It also doubles as the location for the Woodstock Farmers Market.
The Amherst Street improvement project and Green Circle Trail in Winchester also garnered an award. “That was a very large project and an excellent one,” Hollberg said. “It made that part of town into a place on its own that people would come to.” The city turned a mile-long stretch of Amherst Street into an attractive and functional corridor by replacing infrastructure, addressing needs for all forms of transportation and meeting recreational goals, according to VCC.
For more information on the award recipients, visit http://valleyconservation.org/better-development/better-models-for-development-awards/.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574 6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org