Rockfish Valley Foundation Hires First Paid Staff – Elise Lauterbach Named Executive Director

Elise Lauterbach has been named as Executive Director of Thw Rockfish Valley Foundation
Elise Lauterbach has been named as Executive Director of the Rockfish Valley Foundation

Nelson County, Virginia

Release via RVF:
The Executive Director is a part-time position, responsible for the Rockfish Valley Trail System, Spruce Creek Park, Natural History Center, and RVF’s educational programs, all in Nellysford, Virginia.  Ms. Lauterbach replaces Peter Agelasto, who stepped down as Volunteer Executive Director at the end of 2017. She was a board member, and led the team that developed and installed the popular new Children’s Nature Trail and Playspace in Spruce Creek Park.  Mr. Agelasto remains Board Chairman and will redirect his focus from day-to-day activities to continuing to fight the proposal Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which traverses the Rockfish Valley Foundation property in two places, and to focus on long-term planning for the Foundation. Financing for the position was made possible by grants from the Bamaworks Fund, The Nelson County Community Foundation, and the Charlotteville Area Community Foundation.

The Rockfish Valley Foundation began with one family’s mission to share their land with the community, and it has grown to become an organization committed to sharing the resources, history, knowledge, and experience of our unique region. For the past ten years it has been an entirely volunteer-run organization.

We are also pleased to announce our 10th Annual Kite Festival on Sunday, April 8, from 11 am until 3 pm. Free kites to assemble, decorate, and fly will be given to the first 400 children. The Kite Festival brings trick kite fliers to demonstrate choreographed routines to music. Food vendors include Blue Mountain Brewery, Blue Ridge Pizza, The Pie Guy, Lucky Duck Kettle Korn, Mouth Wide Open, and Kona Ice Cville. Live music will be provided by Jimbo and Cary Mathis. Kites will be available to purchase from Life’s a Breeze Kite Shop, and kites from Life’s a Breeze will be given out as prizes.

There will be raffles for prizes, and a Bold Rock Rubber Duck Race down the South Rockfish River, with ducks available to rent for $5 a duck, for a fundraiser for the Rockfish Valley Foundation. Last year the money from the duck race went towards the build of the popular playground and Children’s Nature Trail in Spruce Creek Park, just behind the Rockfish Valley Foundation’s Natural History Center.

The Natural History Center in Nellysford, Virginia will re-open to the public after its regular winter closure Saturday March 31. The center is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment for groups. Wednesday mornings the center will host a reading circle for young children at 11 am. Docents will read books aloud relating to the natural world, and will host an activity or show and tell related to the book. Parents are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to eat in the park outside after reading circle.

We are actively seeking volunteers to staff our Natural History Center as Museum-Rangers, and Trail Monitors to help note problems and maintain our 6 miles of walking trails. Information is available on


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