Apple Ridge Farm, Copper Hill

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the “Dedication Day” event at Apple Ridge Farm in nearby Copper Hill. I’ve been there twice to hear concerts on the performing stage and once to gather for the horse-logging demonstration a few months back.

But as far as knowing fully how the facility came to be and what it’s larger mission is, I know only what I learn from the Apple Ridge webpage.

Our mission is to provide outdoor experiences and academic programs for inner city and at-risk youth. More than 300 young people participate each summer in one- or two-week camping periods, at no cost to the children.

The facilities, already very well kept and seemingly adequate, have recently gained some additions: a natural science center, swimming pool, fireplace, observation deck, multipurpose field and dark sky observatory–and it is these new additions that will be the focus of this special event on Saturday.

Of course I am particularly drawn to learn more about their outdoor education programs. It seems a shame to live so close to such a resource and know so little about it. So I think I’ll go tomorrow–and carry my camera, of course–and learn something.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. This might be a good use of “pages” we were discussing the other day. Outdoor Education Resources…Make it your very own special interest portal.