The generosity of Dr. Charles Bartlett and his wife, Jean, will allow Emory & Henry students the opportunity to explore and learn from one of the most breathtaking properties in Washington County, Va.
The Bartletts have donated the property to Emory & Henry with the wish that it be used for environmental and geological education. The 72-acre site, located near Glade Spring, offers countless educational opportunities in botany, zoology, geology and other field sciences.
“When night comes, a whole new world shows itself to you,” Bartlett said.
Emory & Henry continues to develop ideas for how this property will best be utilized, but initial thoughts are for the house and land to become an environmental education field station.
“We've received gifts of land, but never a gift like this," E&H President Rosalind Reichard said after the signing ceremony held on Monday.
The property offers wide-ranging views of the Blue Ridge Mountains (including Whitetop and Mount Rogers), and access to the Middle Fork of the Holston River.
“I know there were a lot of options for this land, and I’m just so happy the Bartlett family considered Emory & Henry,” said Dr. Linda Dobkins, interim vice president for academic affairs.
Bartlett, who taught geology at Emory & Henry in the late 1950s, approached Dr. Reichard this past fall about the College’s interest in the property.
The property already has won praise from E&H students. “I chose to be an Environmental Sciences major to learn more ways to protect our environment and this land will help me do that,” said sophomore Caitlin Hollaway of Bristol, Va.
“Dr. Bartlett has a passion for teaching, and this property will help future students learn lessons that cannot be taught solely in the classroom,” added Dr. Laura Hainsworth, associate professor of chemistry and co-director of the Environmental Studies Program.
The property includes several hiking trails developed by the Bartlett family. Local Boy Scouts have been one of the groups to utilize the property over the past few decades, hosting their annual “Winter Camp” every December.
Click here to see more pictures from the event.