Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan

Advisory Group – Education & Access Working Group

April 17, 2002



- Topics -

1.      Welcome and Introductions


2.      Priority Areas/Goals Discussion


3.      Rank and Prioritize Goals


4.      What’s next?


5.      Adjourn






Davis Rhodes (Friends of Dragon Run); Kay Bradley (Northern Neck-Middle Peninsula Public Education Consortium); Willy Reay (Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve/VIMS); Jerry Horner (Rappahannock Community College); David Fuss (Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission)




David Fuss welcomed everyone and began introductions.


Priority Areas Discussion


David presented the following priority areas that were distilled from the March 20 meeting:


There needs to be a balance between access and restrictions. The group wants to expose people to the Dragon, but do it quietly – keep it managed.


There was much discussion about the facilities/resources that are or will be available to the CBNERR program, including a parcel of land near the Mascot bridge, meeting room and education lab at VIMS, teams of educators, and existing public access at York River State Park. Access at the Mascot parcel could be limited (gated) so that only organized groups would have access. A suggestion was to increase VIMS’ effort at home on the Middle Peninsula, rather than emphasizing groups outside the region.


There was discussion about the need to identify research/monitoring needs and to identify grant writing needs. Do we have enough already? An annual report on the watershed’s status might be useful.


How do you prove that prevention works? Need an example of a community that has lost a natural treasure do to overuse, development, etc.?


It would be helpful to build a 5-year record of successfully managed access that can be adjustable – limit access if damage or problems occur, increase access if management is working.


There was some discussion about landowner concerns – particularly those of Middlesex landowner group spearheaded by Warren Milby. Worries about landowner liability, trip liability (event insurance), and public liability at access points. There was a feeling that the group needed to lead its goals with a motto about the importance of landowner stewardship.


There was brief discussion about the development of a land-holding entity for land management. An example of a triple net no cost lease was raised that allows local government to continue collecting tax revenue, while the purchaser pays the cost of taxes and liability.


Willy and Jerry also discussed ways of finding funding to redesign the RCC wastewater treatment through a leachate field so that there is no point discharge into the Dragon.




The group’s goal ideas are summarized below:




The next meeting will be with the entire Advisory Group on May 8, 2002 at 7:30 PM at the MPPDC offices in Saluda.