May 2023 Volume 27 Issue 2

Page 1

Love at First Sight

Bedford gardener protects 390 acres with the Central Virginia Land Conservancy

It was love at first sight.

Wendy Schumann knew the very first time she saw her farm off Big Island Highway that it was where she wanted to live. The property was not even for sale at the time, but she made inquiries through a local realtor and six months later was able to purchase the farm that had captured her attention. Having grown up in a small town, its scenic views and quiet mountainside setting reminded Wendy of her childhood and offered the chance to escape from the noise and bustle of busy Virginia Beach, where she lived and worked at the time.

Wendy Schumann recently partnered with the Central Virginia Land Conservancy to protect that farm, 390 acres of forest and farmland in Bedford County, forever.

Schumann’s land, which rises several hundred feet from Big Island Highway up the eastern

face of Suck Mountain, will be protected from development in perpetuity.

An avid gardener, Wendy had always been attracted to tending the land and conservation. “I see it all here,” she remarked. Deer, bear, fox, coyotes, turkeys, skunks, opossums, and flying squirrels have all been regular sights around the property. Her gardens were kept strictly organic, with fresh vegetables just outside making their way into the kitchen for many a meal.

Protecting her beloved home through a conservation easement provides peace of mind about her land even as she moves on.

For more information, on how you can help save our beautiful scenery, or to learn how you, can conserve your own rural land, call 540-985-0000 ext. 2, or e-mail

Views from Schumann’s farm


Locavore dinner with Bruce and Elaine Ingram

Thursday, June 1 from 5-8 PM

$30 per person* - limited to 10 people

Botetourt County

(directions will be given when you RSVP)

Join Bruce and Elaine on their conserved property for meal created from food they have raised and foraged on the land as well as a short tour of their homestead and conserved property. You will learn about how they have utilized solar, raising chickens, eating what you grow and forage in the yard, managing woodlands for food and wildlife, invasive plants, and foraging for take home goodies such as watercress! Be sure to RSVP early as this is a popular event and limited to 10 participants. Price includes a signed copy of Bruce and Elaine’s book, Living the Locavore Lifestyle.

Full Moon Hike

Saturday, October 28 from 7-10 PM

$10 per person* / Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

Join Blue Ridge Land Conservancy staff for a pre-Halloween guided night hike in the full moon! We will look for glowing eyes in the underbrush, listen for night birds and insects, and feel the quiet wonder of a fall evening in full moon’s light! Bring a flashlight and wear appropriate footwear and layered clothing.

For more information or to sign up, call or e-mail Tina Badger at (540) 985-0000 ext. 3 or

Join us on an Outdoor Adventure this coming year as we visit conserved properties to hike, learn and have a great time in the outdoors.

Hike Cahas

Saturday, September 30

$10 per person*

Franklin County, VA

Here is your chance to hike Cahas Mountain in Franklin County, Virginia. This privately owned land with a conservation easement is not open to the public so we love being able to offer a hike to House Rock for some spectacular views. Contact Tina today to have your name added to the list or watch our website and FB page for the date announcements.

*Friends of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy receive a $5 discount on each event! To become a Friend, go to our website and choose “Support Us” from the menu.

Deer skull on Franklin County easement

Barbara Coffey’s Estate Gives Record Donation To Save Land

The estate of Barbara Coffey, a late Botetourt County musician and environmentalist, recently made a record-setting gift to the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy.

The gift of $175,000 was the largest cash gift ever received by the conservancy, according to Executive Director David Perry.

“Barbara loved supporting the environment,” said the executor of the estate, Jim Crawford of Roanoke.

Barbara grew up in Botetourt County and also owned land along the Tye River in Nelson County.

“Every year she would have a party around the Fourth of July for folks to come and camp at her Tye River property,” said Cathy. “It was mostly musician friends, so it was kind of just a big jam.”

“We thought long and hard about how to put Barbara’s gift to good use,” said David. “In the end, we decided that taking care of our staff and increasing the financial stability of the organization were top priorities.”

David also said that because land conservation is permanent, strengthening the organization’s bottom line was key.

“We have to have the resources in the bank to steward the lands we conserve for 50, 100, 200 years or more—however long forever is,” David said. “This gift will really help us keep our promise to our landowners to protect their land when they’re gone.”

For more information on how you can leave an estate gift to the Blue Ridge, Central or Southern Virginia Land Conservancies, call us at (540) 985-0000 ext. 1.

“Barbara loved supporting the environment.”
Jack Hinshelwood, Barbara Coffey, and Jim Crawford



Robert C. Mountcastle, President

J. Ross Wimmer, CPA, Treasurer

Fiona M. Tower, Secretary

A. Sidney Barritt III, MD

Dominic M. Basile

Helen A. Burnett

William Hunley

Sonja A. Ingram

Lowell F. Inhorn, MD

David C. Jones, DDS

Wendy W. Kendrick

Susan E. McSwain

Hunter Naff

Ann Bondurant Trinkle


David C. Perry, Executive Director

Emily R.H. Bender, Assistant Director

Tina L. Badger, Project Manager

Kacie E. Shifflett, Stewardship Specialist

Chris Holdren, SVALC Program Manager

Kyle Simpson, CVALC Program Manager

The Lemon House

1305 Maple Avenue SW

Roanoke, VA 24016


In Memory of Linda Pharis

I’m pretty sure I came to know Linda Pharis through her husband, John, who played mandolin in the band at our Conservation Celebrations for many years. She would go on to volunteer in the office, join our board, serve as president, and in 2022, receive our first George Kegley Award for Volunteerism.

Linda’s term as board president was eventful. Reading back through old board meeting minutes, I can see where we were struggling with reaccreditation (it was successful), and how we were trying to find our role in the early days of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, threading the needle between activism and advocacy. I remember that Linda, as always, was thoughtful and professional, interspersing wit and humor with wisdom and insight, and always adding a large dash of concern and appreciation for the staff.


I’m glad we were able to honor Linda’s service with the George Kegley Award in the fall—kudos to BRLC Advisory Committee member Bill Hunley for nominating her, and to the rest of the committee for having the good sense to agree unanimously. Linda’s graceful spirit will be missed, but she will never be far from us.

Land Savers United, doing business in your community as the Blue Ridge, Central or Southern Virginia Land Conservancy, is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a mark of distinction in land conservation.
protect the lands and waters you love, forever.
Linda Pharis receiving the George Kegley Award in 2022.

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