Resource Management Good Water Usage Conservation Essays     Eco-Solutions

the\ Shenandoah Magic

Schon-hin-dow, or Beautiful Daughter of the Stars, is what the First peoples call this magical valley. These Star Children had the wisdom that these heavenly lights were contained within. Right in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley is Shenandoah County, Virginia. Here, forests comprise 26 percent of its 512 square miles. I have the fortune of backing the George Washington National Forest outside Edinburg, Virginia. Our first settlers thought they had found the “garden of Eden” and my town was first called “Edenburg”. My county has over two hundred miles of hiking trails and over a hundred miles of rivers and streams. Tourism here brings in around $250 million dollars each year. Over a hundred years ago our county did not have many trees because of logging, heating and the Civil War burning of this breadbasket. Edinburg became the home of our first Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1933, two and a half million men were employed and planted almost three billion trees. Camp Roosevelt was the first camp. The Shenandoah Valley acts as a huge water treatment system purifying our drinking water. Yearly our trees generate billions of dollars in timber, tourism, and other environmental benefits. In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. Trees absorb CO2, removing carbon. Also trees lessen nature’s runoff and hold soil in place while filtering toxins. Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. Also Shenandoah County has such attractions as Shenandoah Caverns, Bryce Resort and along with an amazing number of vineyards (one right next to my driveway), breweries (one 2 miles away with an 18-hole Frisbee Golf Course) and agritourism venues. The county also is the fifth largest agricultural producer and timber sales yearly yield 713,000 thousand cubic feet which converts into 8,556,000 board feet. We all profit from planting trees and collectively tap into expanded forms of well-being. New tree growth creates new possibilities. Come see for yourself and celebrate the " Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."

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