Welcome to our Chapter! Updated August 1, 2014
Founded in 1947, the Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter is one of the oldest of the Izaak Walton League's approximately 250 chapters. Serving central Virginia in the fight to protect our country's natural heritage and improving outdoor activities for all Americans. We invite you to learn about our work and join us in supporting important conservation initiatives in our historic community.
The Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter is a non-profit conservation organization recognized as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity under the Internal Revenue Code and serves the Fredericksburg area of Virginia.
Our 123 acre park is in the heart of the
Fredericksburg-Chancellorsville-Wilderness Civil War
Battlegrounds. This is some of
the most environmentally sensitive land in the U.S. We have
members, residing in several counties surrounding Fredericksburg, who
participate in Conservation Efforts including a local roadside clean-up
campaign done quarterly, tree planting, water testing and public
education in conservation of natural resources.
Our members both maintain and enjoy a large stocked fishing pond, 4
firearms ranges, joint-use archery
ranges, hiking trails, wooded picnic areas, playground areas, approved
camping, 3 pavilions, and a club house.
We host both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts that camp, train and perform conservation related services at our facility.
Our Chapter has now hosted and provided support for the orginal Fredericksburg Dog Mart for over 60 Years. The Fredericksburg Dog Mart event actually dates back over three centuries and celebrates the trading of goods between Native Americans and the early settlers. A truly historic and fun-filled family event!
Other programs include a schedule of fishing, hunting,
archery, and range operation safety training for both young and old. On
a quarterly basis knowledgeable speakers are invited to address our
membership on topics related to conservation .
Our nature trails and excellent fishing draw hundreds of youthful campers each year. Our youth are the future conservationists!
Greg Raines - President
To conserve, restore and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, water and wild life.
"To strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air, and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources; to know the beauty and understanding of nature, and the value of wildlife, woodlands and open space; to the preservation of this heritage and to man's sharing in it. I pledge myself as a member of the Izaak Walton League of America."
History of The Virginia Division of The Izaak Walton League of America
The Virginia Division of the Izaak Walton League was formed on August 8, 1929. It, together with the Garden Clubs of Virginia and the Virginia Academy of Science, petitioned in 1929 for the establishment of what became the Virginia State Park system. This was delayed by the Depression and was not implemented until 1936.
Organized July 22, 1944, with nine chapters, the Virginia Division has concentrated on conservation education and habitat protection. The Division's most famous member was President Herbert Hoover, an active member of the former Orange County Chapter. Another, Senator A. Willis Robertson, was a League chapter leader and a former state wildlife commissioner, who as a Congressman, co-sponsored important legislation, the Federal Aid and Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 -- better known as the Pittman-Robertson Act.
In 1940, the Arlington-Fairfax Chapter won a significant victory with statewide adoption of a Chapter supported 12-point fish and wildlife law enforcement program, including law enforcement officer training. Twelve years later, the Lynchburg Chapter successfully stopped the state assembly from making the wildlife commission's executive director a political appointment.
Conservation efforts by the Division involving water cleanup, the state's model water pollution control law, and longtime support of conservation education were recognized in 1959. The state wildlife agency presented the Division with a citation for outstanding work in conjunction with a popular annual wildlife essay contest from 1948 to the late 1960s. In 1961, more than 40,000 entries from school students were received.
Since 1946, efforts by the Division and IWLA to stop the proposed Salem Church Dam on the Rappahannock River succeeded in November 1974, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ended all planning and construction.
In 1978, the Division purchased 611 acres of private land within the George Washington National Forest and held it for later purchase by the government.
Efforts by the Division and other conservation groups to protect the James River succeeded in January 1984 when Hampton Roads Energy Company abandoned plans to build the Portsmouth Oil Refinery. The Division sued in 1983, warning that oil spills could destroy the river's oyster beds.
In 1988, Division members helped secure a ban on phosphate detergents. The Alexandria Chapter also worked to protect Huntley Meadows, a 1,261-acre wetland used by bald eagles for nesting habitat.
The Division revitalized the Virginia Save Our Streams Program in 1996 securing annual donations and grants from the Virginia State Assembly and environmental groups in excess of $100,000 to support the volunteer water quality monitoring program.
Currently, the Division has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Virginia Departments of Conservation and Recreation, Environmental Quality and Game and Inland Fisheries for a cooperative move to improve Virginia's environment.
Today, the Virginia Division of the Izaak Walton League of America can boast of 18 chapters and more than 9600 Ikes in the Old Dominion State.