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State parks are topic of lifelong learning course

RILL-BensonThree autumn afternoons have been set aside by the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) to allow area residents to explore the attractions of the Virginia state parks located on the Northern Neck. In “Discovering Your Northern Neck State Parks,” park managers and interpreters will make participants aware of the many educational and recreational opportunities these local treasures offer. Each session runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on a Wednesday. Westmoreland State Park, near Montross, will be featured on September 25; Caledon State Park, near Dahlgren, on October 2; and Belle Isle, near Lancaster, on October 9.

State park managers Ken Benson, Steve Davis, and Tim Shrader, and Chief Rangers Sammy Zambon and Charlene Talcot, possess a combined experience of over 50 years dedicated to caring for and helping visitors to explore and enjoy Virginia’s reserved natural assets. They will explain the development of the state parks system and share their observations of the abundant wildlife inhabiting these 3,300 acres of water and land. Attendees can dig for fossils in the sand, spot bald eagles as they ride in a hay-wagon, and learn about resource conservation. After each session, they can visit the camp stores, where there is a variety of items that would make unique gifts, or provide a special remembrance of the visit. Information about special on-site events and facilities, such as kayaking, concerts, camping, swimming, fishing, and nature programs, will also be available.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “Discovering Your Northern Neck State Parks” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707, or toll-free at 877-722-3679), or e-mail her at


Photo: Westmoreland State Park manager Ken Benson is one of several state park staff members who will detail the attractions of these local treasures in the upcoming RILL course “Discovering Your Northern Neck State Parks.”

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