The 2022 spring paddle season opened on April 15. I think I can speak for all paddle and logistics crew members: We are ready! Ready to share the beauty of the Dragon with our guests and school groups. Our volunteer crew is working hard to make our paddle trips relaxing, entertaining, and educational.
Members of Friends of Dragon Run (FODR) and the public have the opportunity hang a piece of Dragon Run on their walls. The Local Scoop is devoting most of the spring issue to sharing this pristine ecosystem with readers. The magazine commissioned Irvington Artist, Christian Johnson, to create a colorful drawing of the Dragon that captures many of its unique features.
By Jack Kauffman
Demand for paddling the Dragon continues to grow. Word has spread and our paddle trips fill quickly. In less than three weeks, all paddle trips for the spring season had been booked. This year’s spring paddle season began April 15 and ends May 26. We’ll conduct paddles every day (with two paddles in one day on several occasions).
Eleven volunteers tackled the February trash pickup and collected nearly 440 pounds of trash—a staggering 4,425 pieces of trash. The trash pickup, organized by FODR Trash Wrangler Mark Alling, collected debris at the three bridges that cross Dragon Run—Mascot, Route 17, and Wares Bridge.
A follow up trash pickup on April 2 made a good showing despite having only five volunteers (Teta Kain, Jack Kauffman, Andrea Mitman, Jeff Wright, and the Trash Wrangler himself—Mark Alling). This small but effective group cleaned up at the three bridges that cross the Dragon and collected 1,512 items weighing 146 pounds. They gathered approximately 460 glass, plastic, and metal items, and three tires weighing more than 100 pounds. All of this was turned in for recycling. Unusual items included a large truck tailpipe, an old mattress, a huge steel wrench, and about 50 feet of new barbed wire.
Join the Trash Wrangler and other volunteers as we, armed with trash bags and pickup sticks, clean up the three bridges that cross the Dragon. Every piece of trash we pickup is one less piece that might go into the Dragon. Meet September 24 at 9 a.m. in the Rappahannock Community College—Glenns Campus parking lot.
Beginning last fall, the Business Process Improvement Team conducted a systems analysis of FODR’s business processes and looked for ways to streamline processing for memberships, donations and paddle registrations. The committee was chaired by Anne Atkins and members included Carol Kauffman, Debbie Rollins, Anne Ducey-Ortiz, and Meo Curtis.
By Adrienne Frank and Gary Driscole
In late winter, Gary Driscole prepares for the coming year of monitoring Prothonotary Warbler (PW) boxes in Dragon Run. He repairs or replaces boxes and checks their placement in the river. The warblers typically return to the Dragon in late April to raise their young; the boxes will be ready for their return.
On February 19, a team of volunteers tackled a FODR goal to monitor at least 24 miles of the Dragon’s 40 miles each year and 100 percent of the Dragon every two years. This initiative is referred to as Dragon Keepers.
By Kevin Howe
In the September 2021 issue of the Dragon’s Tale, I wrote about how The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and others began to realize the ecological significance of Dragon Run in 1973. But that is only half the story; the real recognition and protection came at the hands of residents living along the Dragon.
Friends of Dragon Run celebrated the first day of spring, March 20, with a nature walk along the Revere and Williams Loop trails. The event was an overwhelming success!
A monitor is assigned to each FODR property. These volunteers visit the property approximately four times a year. They look for damage and hazards, unusual or rare plants as well as invasive species, condition of the trails and property boundaries, and work that needs to be done. The monitors report any work they did during their visit. A property report is submitted to the Property Manager, Dave Milby.
This spring, property monitors and Board members visited three properties as a group and will visit all properties by the end of the year.
Digging decades-old garbage out of the leaves at the Kostyal property was rather dull work—which led FODR Board member Molly Broderson, to write the following song. Use the tune to the Christmas carol, “Do You See What I See?” when you perform this piece of music.