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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: October 14, 2009

Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve hosts public open house

(ROCKY MOUNT, Va.) ? The public is invited to join in a day of exploring Virginia?s rarest natural resources at Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009. Hosted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, activities include a guided hike and a presentation on the natural history and the stewardship of the site.

The event runs from 9 a.m. until noon, and DCR Natural Heritage staff members will give a guided walking tour of the preserve at 10 a.m.

This is one of several events being held statewide to showcase Virginia?s Natural Area Preserve System, through which the state?s most significant natural places are protected. It includes some of the rarest natural communities and rare species habitats. Grassy Hill protects a mountain basic woodland community and several rare plant species. Statewide, there are 59 dedicated natural areas totaling 49,531 acres. In those areas, 356 unique, significant natural communities and rare plant and animal species are protected.

Parking is available at the Franklin County Family YMCA at 235 Technology Dr. in Rocky Mount. To retain the natural conditions of the preserve, restroom and telephone facilities are not available.

For directions to the preserve, please visit

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