To welcome new board members Robin Rinaca and Hank Badger, the VES Land Trust Board of Directors organized a cleanup challenge in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Clean the Bay Day. “The VES Land Trust Board is devoted to serving and conserving the Eastern Shore community and the health of its precious natural lands and waters,” said President of the Board Karen Terwilliger, “Because litter negatively impacts the resources we protect, participating in Clean the Bay Day is a natural fit.” Robin and Hank rose to the occasion along with Vice President Carl Nordstrom, board members Susan Harris, David Turner, and Jeff Walker, Stewardship Manager Arthur Upshur, and Executive Director Hali Plourde-Rogers.

Clean the Bay Day is usually held on the first Saturday of June. This year, CBF expanded the clean up to include the full week leading up to June 5th and encouraged participants to do individual and team cleanups throughout the week. Arthur and Carl organized a cleanup at Morley’s Wharf in Exmore, Virginia. Hank, his wife Julie, their daughter Beth, and Arthur’s wife Carol volunteered to pick up trash from the public landing. The Morley’s Wharf crew picked up 250 lbs. of debris and litter including an air conditioner and a tire. Robin, Susan, David, and Hali individually picked up litter along various roads near their homes and businesses in Cheriton, Melfa, and Onancock. Jeff volunteered at the Rosenwald School clean up in Cape Charles. Team VES Land Trust most commonly found plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cigarette butts. All together they collected more than 300 lbs. of litter and debris.

Litter and debris are harmful to the Eastern Shore’s people, wildlife, and natural resources. Cigarette butts and plastics contain toxic chemicals that seep into the environment. These chemicals accumulate in the fish we eat and may cause serious health concerns in people and marine life. Keeping litter out of our landscapes and waterways, protects the farms, forests, waters, and wildlife we all love, depend on, and enjoy.

Please join us in welcoming our new board members. Also serving on the Board are Timmy Brown, Grayson Chesser, John Graham, and Meriwether Payne. The Board is committed to fulfilling the VES Land Trust mission to conserve the farms, forests, wetlands, and waters of the Eastern Shore for future generations. “We are excited to welcome our new board members Robin and Hank as they bring their longstanding knowledge of the Shore and extensive experience with the Eastern Shore community and conservation of its natural resources,” commented Karen.

Welcome Robin Rinaca

Robin moved to the Eastern Shore in 1980 from the Shenandoah Valley. She lives on Folly Creek in Accomack County in an historic house that she and her late husband, Nick, restored while raising their two daughters. Robin and Nick protected the 600-acre property by donating a conservation easement with VES Land Trust in 2007. “I believe in preserving and protecting open space and waterfront property in general and on the Eastern Shore particularly,” shared Robin.

“In addition to placing their land under easement, Robin brings her successful nursery business experience as well as her service on several state and local level boards,” added Karen. Robin serves on the Eastern Shore Community Foundation Board, the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, Virginians for the Arts and is a Trustee of Grace United Methodist Church.

Welcome Hank Badger

Hank Badger is an Eastern Shore native. His family roots go back to the mid-seventeen hundreds in Northampton County. He is a licensed land surveyor and retired from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) in 2020 after 42 years of service. Hank served as VMRC’s Chief Engineer and was the Environmental Engineer on the Shore. He was part of the management team that inventoried and managed approximately 28,000 acres of ungranted shores, marshes and meadowlands. “Hank’s extensive knowledge of the Eastern Shore’s coastal systems and long career in public service through VMRC brings deeper understanding of our working waters and landscapes,” stated Karen.

The VES Land Trust works closely with landowners to protect the Eastern Shore’s farm and forestland, scenic creeks and bays, historic resources, wildlife habitat, and natural resources with conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary deeded agreement offering permanent protection from development while respecting private property rights. Conservation easements are as unique as the property they protect.

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