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Birthplace of Rivers National Monument News - August/September 2015

posted Sep 11, 2015, 6:13 AM by Kathleen Tyner

Greenbrier County contains part of the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument—and a lot of supporters! Meet a few of them.

Faces of Birthplace of Rivers: Leslee McCarty

Lewisburg, WV resident Leslee McCarty has always understood the connections between West Virginia’s beauty, clean water, and local economy. Twenty-five years ago, this innkeeper co-founded the Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA). She’s retired from the hospitality industry, but not from her ceaseless efforts promote the best of the Mountain State—including Birthplace of Rivers. 

She writes, she organizes, she goes to events and brings people with her, and, with a Rolodex as tall has the Falls of Hill Creek, she, with GRWA, is an essential local friend of the monument. Hats off to Leslee, and thanks to GRWA for all the support.

Birthplace Business Partner: Hill and Holler Bicycle Works

Hill and Holler founder Merrick Tracey has been a monument supporter from the beginning. As the owner of a bike shop in Lewisburg, he’s seen the benefits of the Greenbrier River Trail to the local economy. He sees that kind of promise in Birthplace of Rivers—where the Greenbrier begins. “No other place in the eastern United States has a national monument like this,” says Merrick. “So that alone should make visitors want to visit the Birthplace of Rivers.”

A Monumental Champion: Mayor John Manchester

For Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester, Birthplace of Rivers is more than good economics; it’s also about prestige for the headwaters. As a monumental champion, John has visited Senator Manchin in D.C., and spoken with him back in the district. He’s calling on Manchin and President Obama to act now. “Polling shows that 84 percent of West Virginians support designating Birthplace of Rivers as a national monument,” he said, citing a statewideWest Virginia Rivers Coalition poll. “It’s time to get this done.”

Live Monumental in Lewisburg
Keen Footwear brings its Live Monumental campaign to Lewisburg September 18 to support Birthplace of Rivers. The event—featuring a climbing wall, free libations, and music by Snake Doctor—takes place at Hill and Holler Bicycle Works in Lewisburg, 1–5pm. Keen has been traveling the nation co-hosting events to support five national monument proposals, including Birthplace of Rivers. After Lewisburg, the tour heads toGauley Fest that same weekend. Then it’s on to D.C., where the company hopes to deliver 100,000 postcards in support of the monuments.

Birthplace of Rivers In the News

What’s At Stake, Belt magazine, 9/8/15: How the monument can help turn around a generation long economic slide.

One Down, Four To Go, Mountain Messenger, 9/4/15: the national public awareness impacts of Keen Footwear's Live Monumental tour.