It’s that time of year again – time to reflect on the past year and plan for the next, powered by hot drinks and the promise of time off.
As we wrap up 2022 here at the office, we’re in awe of the generosity you have shown our beloved Park this year, and we’re so excited to share some of our plans for 2023!
As we wind down from our fall events and Giving Tuesday, we are grateful for a record-breaking year of growth and giving. Seriously, we broke so many records this year that we had to make a list!
Records you helped us break in 2022:
- $545,348 awarded in grants to the Park
- 300 new donors started giving (helping us reach a 31% increase in giving!)
- 40,000 hours of Trust-facilitated volunteer work completed in the Park
- $262,240 raised from Shenandoah National Park license plate sales
- 3 brand new events hosted in and around the Park
- $27,535 raised on Giving Tuesday with no matching funds
- 12,400+ students served through educational programming
- 3 new staff members hired
- Last (and potentially least), Superintendent Pat Kenney survived a 12.5-hour car trip and a 4-day conference with our staff!
On top of all that, we were also able to donate 225 acres of land to the Park, release hundreds of laricobius nigrinus beetles to protect hemlocks against the invasive woolly adelgid, support five inspiring Artists-in-Residence, fund numerous opportunities for kids to become immersed in nature for the first time, and so much more.
The best part? All these successes aren’t just accomplishments; they’re milestones and a foundation for future growth.
With our three newest hires, we are fully staffed and able to focus on maximizing our potential – we believe we can keep breaking records. In fact, our new events saw such incredible success that we’ve already reshaped and scheduled them for 2023:
- Our first Show Your Love for Shenandoah had a waiting list of volunteers, and we’re preparing for an even more productive volunteer event on April 22, 2023.
- The Shenandoah Soiree in Washington, VA sold out, and we’ve already begun planning the event for May 7, 2023.
- We got such good feedback from artists at the Inspired by Shenandoah exhibit that we’re launching a 3-day Art in the Park event on September 21-23, featuring even more of our former Artists-in-Residence as well as other artists throughout our region!
But events aren’t the only thing we’ve got planned for 2023 – along with continuing to fund Park-wide conservation, education, and maintenance efforts, we’re taking on two brand new projects:
- Protecting Shenandoah’s native brook trout: Brook trout have already disappeared from at least two low-elevation streams in Shenandoah due to rising water temperatures; this project fills an information gap for the Park and will identify high-risk streams that can be protected effectively. It also serves to engage and educate the public about the effects of climate change on Park resources.
- Media Liaison in Shenandoah: We’ve been able to accomplish so much in Shenandoah, but only a small percentage of Park users know who we are. If we are to continue to increase our giving (and reach our goal of giving the Park $1 million annually by 2025), we need to reach more people. This project funds an intern who will work with the Park’s media team to create content about the Trust’s work, including project updates, signage, photography and videography, social media, and more.
The addition of these projects, along with new community partnerships, expands our mission to provide strategic investments in programs and initiatives that help protect, enhance, and preserve the resources of Shenandoah National Park for all to enjoy – for this and future generations. You can find descriptions of all our 2023 projects in our Field Guide – we hope you find some that absolutely delight you!
And with that, we’ll wrap up with something that delights us! Shenandoah National Park is featured in the White House’s East Room for the holidays, one of only four national parks selected for the honor! We’ve always known what a treasure Shenandoah is, and it feels incredibly fitting to see it celebrated by our nation’s leaders at the end of such an incredible year.
We’re so thankful for your support – our work wouldn’t be possible without you! Best wishes to all of you and your loved ones this holiday season.
Enjoy your break, and we’ll see you in 2023!