Shenandoah Launches ‘The Spirit of the Mountain’

The following is a press release from Shenandoah National Park. Thank you to our donors who helped fund this new curriculum for our park! Click here to learn more about the Trust’s programs.

Shenandoah National Park Announces Launch of Curriculum on Park Establishment

Park Superintendent Jennifer Flynn is pleased to announce the release of “The Spirit of the Mountain,” a new web-based interactive curriculum designed to tell the complex story of the Park’s establishment and its effect on the local region.

“We are excited to offer this additional method for the public to understand the complex story of the Park’s establishment and to present this content in way that allows teachers across the country to use our story to teach important concepts in their Social Studies classes,” said Flynn. The curriculum aligns with state and national standards for history, government, civics, economics, and geography for middle and high school students. The program is also appropriate for the general public and will be used in a variety of Park programs.

The launch is the culmination of a two-year project led by the Park’s education division and largely shaped by local government teachers, Ginny Browne of Page County High School in Shenandoah, Virginia, and Kim Dean of East Rockingham High School in Elkton, Virginia. Dean brought a special perspective to the project; she is a descendent of several residents of the area that became Shenandoah National Park who were displaced by its creation. Dean captured her feelings about the impact she hopes the program she helped create will have: “The establishment of the Park, with all its accomplishments and heartaches is a story influenced by time and place. Through this program, we can better understand the perspectives, opinions, and motivations of all those who influenced and were impacted. We cannot ignore the spirit of those who once called the majestic Blue Ridge home. We cannot change the past; however, we must embrace history and move forward on the common ground we share.”

“The Spirit of the Mountain” was funded through fee revenue and donations to The Shenandoah National Park Trust. It includes numerous historic photos, primary documents, and video oral histories of displaced residents and descendants. The development team, including Browne and Dean, has conducted teacher workshops in Page and Rockingham counties, and teachers in those systems are already using the program in their classrooms. Schools that are interested in scheduling a workshop should contact the Park’s education department. “The Spirit of the Mountain” is the third web-based interactive in the Park’s cultural history series. All three can be accessed via the Park’s website:

Press Release: December 13, 2017

Contact: Claire Comer at or 540-999-3500 ext 3183