Spotlight on Our Partners

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Friends of the North Folk of the Shennendoah River

Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River (Friends), founded in 1988, is a 501(c)(3) community watershed organization with a mission to improve and protect the purity, beauty, and
natural flow of the North Fork Shenandoah River, a major tributary of the Potomac River andChesapeake Bay.

More than 500 members and partnership with organizations like the US Forest Service (USFS) form the backbone of our organization's water quality protection efforts.

As the Forest Service celebrates the centennial of the Weeks Act, legislation that provided immediate protection for Eastern forests and watersheds, Friends would like to highlight many ways that we havepartnered with the Lee Ranger Forest District to improve the water health in the North Fork Shenandoah watershed.

Education is one of Friends' primary focus areas in our effort to improve the health of the North Fork watershed and education efforts in the Lee Ranger District provide plenty of opportunity for


2008 Rain Garden Installation

Rain Garden InstallationFriends developed a watershed workshop series in 2008 to engage watershed residents in water
oriented activities.

One of the highlights of this effort was a garden planting that took place at the Lee Ranger District's new headquarters in Edinburg, VA. The USFS building is a LEED certified building and it was wonderful that we could add this water quality protection feature to their campus.

The District provided the heavy equipment and staff needed for the installation and Friends' volunteers completed the project by planting the garden itself.

This was truly a community effort as local nursery and feed stores contributed to the project as well.


2010 North Fork
Exploration for Teachers


""Our education programs have grown during the past three years culminating in 2010 with our first
teacher’s professional development opportunity - North Fork Exploration.

The Exploration consisted of a three day workshop and included a canoe trip on the North Fork, field trips to different entities that impact water quality in the watershed, including a waste water treatment plant, a local landfill, and a local farm where many best management practices have been installed and resource day for alerting teachers to available water related teaching resources.

Staff with the Lee Ranger District provided a wonderful forest oriented perspective on water quality and the many benefits a forest provides for water quality as well as providing shelter and food for forest dwelling organisms and fuel and timber for human use.

Seeds for a Healthier Forest

National forests are grown with partnerships.  By the turn of the 20th century our nation’s forests had been ravaged by mismanagement, or no management, and threatened by wildfire.  The American people were witnessing serious environmental, social and economic problems.  This unique set of circumstances initiated a coalition of conservationists and industrialists that was forged out of a mutually beneficial interest for well-managed and sustainable forests.  These early partners rallied around the passage of the Weeks Act, gave strength to its language and supported the development of 52 national forests in 26 states.

Without the partnerships made possible by the passage of the Weeks Act, the Forest Service would be unable to complete its mission:

To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”

Changing Lives and Landscapes

The Weeks Act launched a century of conservation – protecting clean water, restoring forests and reducing catastrophic wildfires.  This Act authorized the Forest Service, for the first time, to work across boundaries with a broad array of federal, state, local, non-profit, educational and research partners to achieve conservation success. 

This centennial celebration provides the opportunity for Forest Service partners to share success stories, raise the profile of their organization as well as find new ways of working together to tackle larger issues such as climate change, water supply and land restoration.

We can help you celebrate the Weeks Act. Check out the Celebration Toolbox for a list of products that you can use freely to plan and promote your own events.