Letter: Gala thank you

RCCA Evening View hosts Jim Massie Sr., Caroline Massie and Debbie Massie work their way through the buffet line.

As many in our county know, it takes an incredible amount of effort to organize a successful fundraiser.
A great number of folks and businesses made a difference in this year’s Rappahannock Evening View, sponsored by the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance (RCCA).

On Saturday, May 22, the Massie family — Jim Sr., Jim, Debbie, David and Caroline — shared their beautiful piece of Rappahannock, Meadow Grove Farm, with more than 200 of their neighbors to honor 2009 easement donors and to help raise funds for the county’s Farmland Preservation Program.

The 346-acre Meadow Grove Farm has been in conservation easement since 2006 and is a great example of private conservation efforts, collaboration of several local and regional environmental groups, and the success of the county’s Farmland Preservation Program. RCCA thanks the Massie family for hosting this event on their historic farm.

Next, the RCCA Board of Directors deserves recognition for its ongoing support of land conservation in our county and in particular, the county’s Farmland Preservation Program. These folks truly understand the importance of preserving our farmland and preserving the culture that defines Rappahannock County.

For all those who sponsored a table, donated an auction item, or spent countless hours preparing for this very special evening, RCCA thanks you. These individuals, families, farms, and businesses are recognized on the RCCA Web site at www.rccava.org .

Whether you are a hunter, fisherman, photographer, foxhunter, farmer, hiker, landscape artist, wine enthusiast, birdwatcher, naturalist, or local foodie it all starts with the land, peaceful and open.

And, for now, the best tool we have to keep it undeveloped is through volunteer landowner protection, either with easement donations or by purchasing the development rights of working family farms.

After six years of this benefit event — and as we head into rethinking our Comprehensive Plan — the RCCA realizes that: spaces support our economic interests, our agricultural heritage and our rural way of life; that our resources — clean streams, natural settings, and farming — are vitally important to Rappahannock; and that the beauty of Rappahannock (and the reason that many of us stayed here or ended up here) will diminish without an ongoing commitment to land preservation.

Conservation easements are a good thing for the county, for its future, and for the folks who call it home. Here’s a big “thank you” to all who support them!

Larry Grove
RCCA President

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