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FRIES — The Town of Fries owns a large parcel of spectacular park land directly on the New River that begins near the dam of the old textile mill and continues for about 1.2 miles down the river.
Five acres of this beautiful land has long been designated as a future birding trail.
The site lies between the popular New River Trail State Park and the river itself, and is adjacent to Fries School. It offers spectacular views of the river and interesting vegetation that includes massive old growth sycamore and silver maple trees.
Tom Guy and other Fries residents are working to improve access to this trail, and ideas are being generated for management and improvement of the wildlife habitat.
A meeting was held Oct. 19, with 10 members of a group from Fries and five members of the Blue Ridge Birders attending.
Photographer John Talani captured images of some of the birds to be seen along the river.
This area is also well known for the spring migration and summer breeding of birds that are uncommon elsewhere and can be observed regularly in Fries, including Baltimore and orchard orioles, yellow throated vireos, yellow throated warblers, warbling vireos, bald eagles, ospreys and great egrets.
The Fries group was led by Guy. He and David Phillips used a tractor, bush hog and chain saw to clear a rough trail on both the mainland and island portions of the fledgling park.
Gazette nature blogger Bill Dunson of Galax also has been advising the group and said he “is enthusiastic about the potential of this park to offer non-consumptive outdoor recreation and an exceptional place for environmental education.”
Anyone interested in participating in this project should contact Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations of time working on trails and plantings, bird houses, benches and money are being solicited.
Birding group to meet
Anyone interested in birding is invited to meet with the Blue Ridge Birders group on Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m.
at the Grayson County Public Library. A presentation will be delivered by Tom and Delieta Guy about the
birding and nature trail in Fries. The trail would include opportunities for nature education with schools and other groups. Members come from Alleghany and Ashe counties in North Carolina and Grayson and Carroll counties in Virginia. For more information, call Bill Perkins at (276) 237-6490.