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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 16, 2009

Crow?s Nest Natural Area Preserve hosts public field day

(STAFFORD, Va.) ? The public is invited to join in a day of exploring Crow?s Nest Natural Area Preserve on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. Reservations are required and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This field day lets citizens experience Crow?s Nest prior to its future opening to the public.

The 2,872-acre Crow?s Nest peninsula, which fronts Accokeek and Potomac creeks, is in Stafford County. The recently acquired state natural area preserve features a globally significant upland forest community, vast pristine tidal marshes and the most extensive intact mature coastal plain hardwood forest in the mid-Atlantic region.

Hosted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the field day will include guided hikes and natural history interpretation. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. DCR Natural Heritage staff will lead two hiking trips at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. At noon, visitors may also take part in a short ceremony commemorating the establishment of Crow?s Nest. Reservations will be available by calling (804) 786-7951 beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.

This event is one of several being held statewide during fall 2009 to showcase Virginia?s Natural Area Preserve System, established to protect rarest natural communities and rare species habitats in the state. Throughout Virginia, there are 59 dedicated natural area preserves encompassing 49,531 acres and protecting 356 unique, significant natural communities and rare plant and animal species.

Parking at Crow?s Nest is limited, and reservations are required for participation. Outside of this one-day event, the preserve remains closed because of a lack of staffing and public access facilities. For more information about Crow?s Nest and other state natural area preserves, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_area_preserves.

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