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WEST JEFFERSON — The New River Conservancy noted an increase in support this summer following two successful fundraiser campaigns in the month of June.

The nonprofit organization which works to protect the waters, woodlands, and wildlife of the the New River Watershed raised $3,614 during the recent Give Local NRV campaign, overshooting their $,3000 goal and nearly doubling the $1,970 in funds raised during last year’s campaign. According to the conservancy this was made possible by the efforts of 33 donors.

Likewise, the organization also received a strong show of support during Land Trust Day on June 5, raising $5,164 in comparison to $4,527 in 2019. The event was cancelled in 2020.

“The owners of the Mast General Store are really big on land protection. So they choose to hold these fundraisers to support their local land trust. So in addition to us, they donated proceeds to the Blue Ridge Conservancy,” said Summer Rich, communications director for the New River Conservancy noting the environmental stewardship shown by Mast General Store.

Each year Mast General sponsors Land Trust Day by donating a portion of its proceeds to local conservation groups and allowing the organizations to set up information tables in their stores.

Touching on the the success of June’s fundraiser campaigns, New River Conservancy’s executive director Elizabeth Underwood credited her team’s efforts and strong foundation for the accomplishment.

“I think its a team effort. Brochures don’t just happen, there’s a lot of time and effort which Summer has done to put together materials. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that’s been happening,” Underwood said. “We have a strong foundation and a growing donor base and there’s a lot of movement right now. We’re doing really good work and I think people are starting to have that name brand recognition and realize it more than just this conservancy that protect the New River. People are seeing the effects of it all up and down the watershed. We have staff in both Virginia and West Virginia and I think that’s a important part of the story too, that we’re really starting to grow.”

Regarding the organizations growing base, Rich stated that she was pleased to see the upward trend.

“It’s great to see the donor base growing. We’re continuing to have successful campaigns. And throughout the transition with COVID-19 its great to see the team stay strong and stay motivated. All well as the stakeholders, they still care,” Rich said. “The river saw more people on it last year than ever before and people are recognizing its importance and contributing to our work.”

To learn more about the New River Conservancy, its work and upcoming events visit www.newriverconservancy.org/. The conservancy can also be found on social media at www.facebook.com/newriverconservancy/?ref=page_internal.

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