Malvern Hill Farm under contract

A historic Eastern Henrico farm – the site of a bloody Civil War battle in 1862 – will be preserved in its entirety, thanks to the Capital Region Land Conservancy.

The CRLC has agreed to purchase Malvern Hill Farm (which is about 875 acres in size and straddles Eastern Henrico and Charles City County) for its appraised value of $6.56 million. The sellers are by descendants of William Heighler Ferguson Sr., who originally purchased Malvern Hill Farm in 1939.

“In one transaction CRLC is taking a giant step in protecting the natural and historic land and water resources of our region,” said Parker C. Agelasto, executive director of Capital Region Land Conservancy.

A ‘Jariety’ of blessings

If you walk into the Virginia Governor's Office between now and March 31, you’ll see an exhibit of 15 paintings from a collection titled “Ingenious Artistic Minds,” or “I AM.” Among them are autographed portraits of professional tennis player Serena Williams, Martin Luther King III and legendary blues musician B.B. King.

What you won’t see, though, is the story behind those paintings. You won’t see Jerome and Jeromyah Jones, the father and son from Henrico who crafted the “I AM” collection. The paintings represent a small sample of the lives they have touched, but you wouldn’t know that unless you know the Jones duo.

Queen of harps

The HARPS Foundation presented Claire Jones, the former Royal Harpist, at Richmond Montessori School March 11 for a school-wide assembly. Jones and her husband, a percussionist, performed and discussed her life in the palace from the perspective of a royal musician including the experience of playing for a royal wedding and the Queen.

Additional land at 2 Civil War battlefields in Henrico to be preserved

More land at two Civil War battlefields in Henrico County will be preserved, thanks to federal funding awarded to Virginia through the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants.

The two Henrico sites – 4.92 acres at Deep Bottom Battlefield II and 1.68 acres at Glendale Battlefield – are among nine Civil War sites statewide that will be preserved as part of the $2.7 million in grant money, which Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced March 3.

Grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund were awarded by the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program to seven states. Virginia was awarded the most money for the most projects, which will be completed in partnership with the Civil War Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

ICGR honors 19 Henrico County students

On Feb. 11, the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond (ICGR) recognized more than 50 Richmond metropolitan area students for their efforts to improve human relations and inter-group understanding.

The annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Youth Awards has been held every year since 1970 to honor students, nominated by school officials, who exemplify the Council’s mission to promote understanding and cooperation among diverse religious faiths.

Students are selected for their community service and participation in activities that enhance human relationships and for such skills as empathy, understanding, and the ability to relate to others of different gender, race or religion.

Troop celebrates ‘Scout Sunday’

Scouts from St. Michael's Church in Glen Allen celebrated Scout Sunday Feb. 7 by attending morning mass. Pictured (from left) are: back row – Cole Fuhrman and Clayton Fuhrman; front row – Alex Schuler; Griffin Ridley; Noah Ridley; Father Dan Brady, pastor. St. Michael's is home to Pack 736 Cub Scouts, Troop 736 Boy Scouts and Venture Crew 736.

The Troop recently raised three Eagle Scouts: Nick Cormier, Avery Ward and Hunter Wilson.

Cyclists have their say

On a chilly Wednesday evening in Innsbrook earlier this month, more than 30 concerned Henrico citizens crowded into the Capital Ale House’s game room. But games were of little concern Feb. 10 during the first of four "Bike Walk Talks" (informal happy hours), at which Bike Walk RVA officials listened to what county citizens had to say about alternative forms of travel in Henrico.

Attendees at the first event this month – many of whom identified as avid cyclists and walkers – shared their desire for Henrico to adopt a plan similar to the Bikeways and Trails Plan approved by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in November. That 50-year plan calls for a 360-mile network of new bicycle pathways and trails, estimated at $360 million. Bike Walk RVA, a Sports Backers-sponsored bicycling and pedestrian advocacy group formed in 2012, presented the Chesterfield board with a list of more than 1,000 county residents’ signatures in support of the plan, which supervisors passed by a 3-2 vote.

Henrico teen turns tragedy into hope

Christopher's Angels honors the memory and life of Christopher Sims. (Photo courtesy Jany Sims)
FEB. 22, 12:15 P.M. – When Christopher Sims, a 14-year-old Henrico boy, died by suicide two years ago, it left a family and an entire community off kilter, searching for answers.

For months afterwards, his twin brother, Alexander, listened to their mother describe how she wished something positive might come from the tragedy.

So Alexander Sims, a junior at Mills E. Godwin High School, decided to create a kindness program to combat bullying and teen suicide. He named it “Christopher’s Angels” (in honor of his brother) and launched it Feb. 9 – on the second anniversary of Christopher's death – at http://www.christophersangels.org.

Henrico student, former NFL player honored

Highland Springs High School student Sam Adu-Gyamfi was the Central Region winner in the Strong Men and Women in Virginia History essay contest, sponsored recently by Dominion and the Library of Virginia. Adu-Gyamfi (pictured above, center, with Dominion representative Sarah Perkinson, left, and Highland Springs H.S. teacher Katelyn Vogelpohl) was honored along with three other essay winners during a ceremony Feb. 3 in Richmond that included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The essay contest was part of the "Strong Men and Woman in Virginia History" event, which honored the leadership and achievements of eight outstanding African-Americans with Virginia connections.

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Three Lakes Nature Center will offer “Mini Reindeer Moss Gardens” for ages 8-10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Keeping a terrarium is a great way to grow your very own miniature forest indoors. This mini garden will feature moss, other moss varieties, plus a little surprise. Cost is $10. To register, call 652-1433. Full text

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