The spring paddle season was a success and volunteer members made good progress on stewardship management plans, conducted maintenance activities on four FODR properties, and made plans for more member activities as well as future paddle trips. EVER SAVE A DRAGON? We’re looking for volunteers to help answer that question. Here are some of the things we do to protect and preserve the Dragon and educate others about this rare ecosystem. Please join us!
Fishes of the Dragon: Hidden Treasures of the Middle Peninsula
Dragon Run, mostly a Bald Cypress-Tupelo swamp, drains into the Piankatank River which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. It is unique because it looks today nearly as it did when John Smith traveled the lower portion in the early 1600s. This makes it a treasure in so many ways including the fish that occur in one of the least disturbed watersheds within the Chesapeake Bay and the mid-Atlantic. And nothing shows this better than the Dragon’s fish and aquatic fauna. Whether you are a fisherperson, an amateur naturalist, or a lover of nature, the diversity of fishes in the Dragon will amaze you! Get the Zoom info for the program.
By Carol Kauffman, FODR Vice President
Day 1 splash, Day 2 splash, Day 3 splash! Starting off the spring season with three tip-overs wasn’t exactly what we had planned for 2022. The three guests who took a drink in the Dragon were unharmed and quite refreshed. Our exceptional crew, from then on, stressed the importance of not leaning sideways in a kayak. Thirtyone paddles later, we can proudly say no one else took a dip in the swamp!
By Jack Kauffman, Paddlemaster
This year’s summer paddle season begins July 21st and ends August 2nd, with signups opening June 15th at 9:00 AM. We will conduct paddles every day during the season. We are happy this summer to welcome 4H groups to the Dragon (July 19th and 20th).
By Molly Broderson and Carol Kauffman
Forty-five students from Aylett Country Day School (ACDS), Peasley Middle School, Middlesex High School, and local homeschoolers kayaked Dragon Run with FODR volunteers during the week of May 16 - May 20, 2022.
By Kevin Howe
Swamps, like Dragon Run, have a summer publicity problem; that is, unless you have been there. Talk to most people about swamps and they visualize muddy, murky, dark places, steamy and sweaty, a place full of snakes, mosquitos, flies, gnats, with “stuff” hanging off trees. And, in the case of Dragon Run swamp, maybe even Dragons live there.
By Anne Ducey-Ortiz, Membership Chair
Members are the backbone of the Friends of Dragon Run and are the best volunteers and long-time supporters. One of the reasons FODR started our paddle trips was (and still is) to get people excited about protecting this beautiful natural and cultural resource so that they join us in our mission to Save the Dragon. We welcome our new members from our recent paddle trips including our newest Life Members--Jenny McGehee and Thyra Harris--who paddled the Dragon with us this past spring and joined us for life. As of May 31, 2022, we have 324 current members - including 103 Life Members.
The Local Scoop, an attractive magazine that highlights locations and events for visitors as well as full-time residents of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, devoted most of the spring issue to describing Dragon Run through articles and stunning photos by Cory Booker. Suzanne McFadden, Editor, commissioned Irvington Artist, Christian Johnson, to create a colorful drawing of the Dragon that captures many of its unique features. She generously donated 200 signed copies to Friends of Dragon Run to use for fundraising.
By Adrienne Frank and Anne Atkins
Because of the Dragon’s unique and pristine ecosystem, researchers sometimes ask for help with accessing the Dragon to support a research project. Teta Kain has escorted many of these researchers. One of her favorite researchers was Dr. Ollie Flint who came with his wife several times over the years to study the caddisflies in the Dragon.
By Carol Kauffman
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