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A planned community of principal and second homes.
Welcome Barnella Quiltbeary! That’s the name of our very unique summer resident at Ridgeview Valley. Barnella is a life size artistically painted chain saw carved bear. You might be familiar with the cows, pigs and even panda bears that were painted in Northern Virginia and other various cities to raise money for the National Zoo and charities. Barnella is part of an art exhibit and driving tour organized by Western Garrett County State Park Volunteers, Inc (WGCSPV). We, Ridgeview Valley in partnership with RPM Construction have fostered Barnella for the summer. The bear art exhibit “Discover the Bears, Carve a Memory: Only in Garrett County” was organized to raise money for the Forest Canopy Walkway to be built at the Deep Creek Lake State Park Discovery Center and to promote more traffic to local businesses with this whimsical, amusing and unexpected artwork while allowing local artisans to gain public exposure. It is truly a win-win project for everyone involved, the WGCSPV raises funds for their Forest Canopy Walkway, local businesses profit from increased traffic, local governments earn additional tax dollars from increased tourism and local artists gain exposure from having their artwork on display through out Garrett County.
There are 20 carved and decorated wooden Bears on display at sponsoring locations throughout Garrett County. WGCSPV has printed passports that participants will take with them on the tour and at each Bear sighting they will have their passport stamped. Once each bear is found and the passport is full the participant it to take it back to the Discovery Center for verification and then be entered into a drawing which will take place during the Dinner/Auction Gala to be held on November 5, 2011. Each bear can be found either using the physical address or for those intrepid souls who want more of a challenge, they can use the GPS coordinates to lead the way. The summer long exhibit will be climaxed by the Dinner/Auction Gala on November 5, 2011 where each bear will be sold to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to WGCSPV for the walkway fund.
Barnella was painted by local stained-glass artist Ginny Neff. Ginny is a former art teacher with many talents including creative writing, gardening and knitting. She creates custom-designed stained glass art for churches, businesses and homes. Ginny is also a part of the Barn Quilt Association of Garrett County where she designs and creates Barn Quilts. Barnella was created from this inspiration and includes all of the Barn Quilt patterns selected in Garrett County so far, reflecting Appalachian and modern styles. Ridgeview Valley requested Ginny’s bear, Barnella, because the 2nd Annual Barn Quilt Festival will be held in The Barn at Ridgeview Valley on August 7, 2011 when Ridgeview’s very own Barn Quilt will be unveiled. Ginny spent a big part of the spring on the theme for Barnella originally thinking she would create a stained glass theme; she was finally inspired to create Barnella’s very detailed quilt theme to help promote the Barn Quilt Association of Garrett County as well as the Forest Canopy Walkway at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center. Ginny has over 3 weeks of working 15 hours a day in the painting of Barnella. When you see Barnella, you will understand the time and detail that Ginny put into creating this masterpiece.
The Western Garrett County State Park Volunteers, Inc. in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park Service and Forest Service are excited about the plan to build a forest canopy walkway at the Discovery Center at the Deep Creek Lake State Park. The following description of the Forest Canopy Walkway was excerpted from the Bear Trail Guide. The Forest Canopy Walkway will be attached to the Discovery Center and will allow visitors to explore the world of treetops from the lowest branch to 80 feet above the ground. From the walkway, birds, butterflies, flowers and various other species of animals, plants and insects that live in the roof of the forest, and which are otherwise invisible, can be seen up close. The Forest Canopy Walkway will be comprised of three main sections; the accessible canopy bridge, the swinging bridge and the canopy tower. The accessible canopy bridge will attach to the rear deck of the Discovery Center and make an almost 200 foot “loop” to the parking lot. The construction will be very similar to the existing deck and railing system. At the turning point of the loop will be an octagon that will allow walkway visitors to gather for programs, observation and reflection. This platform will be the hub of the accessible canopy bridge and the swinging bridge will attach here. The accessible bridge will slope slightly up toward the hub from the parking lot and the Discovery Center. This will place the height of the hub approximately 24’ off the ground and be located in the natural clearing surrounded by the grove of oak and hemlock trees. The swinging bridge will be accessed by climbing a spiral staircase attached to this octagonal hub. The bridge will be 100’ long and attach to a tower 50’ off the ground. The swinging bridge will be designed to give the visitor a genuine experience of being in the treetops. The canopy tower will be located at the end of the swinging bridge in another grove of trees. Because of the importance of fire and fire fighting in the Maryland Forestry and Parks history, the canopy tower will be designed to reflect a fire tower the Forest Service historically used to locate fires. Visitors can ascend to the top of the tower, 80’ in height, or descend to the ground and exit the canopy walkway.
Western Garrett County State Park Volunteers, Inc. is made up of volunteers who are residents and visitors of the Western Maryland state park system. The volunteers support Deep Creek Lake State Park, Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks by promoting the use and services provided to the public by the state.
While participating in the Bear Trail, don’t forget to continue your support by purchasing a commemorative “T” shirt or one of the other souvenirs. Ridgeview Valley, RPM Construction and Barnella look forward to all of our summer visitors! While you are visiting Ridgeview Valley feel free to have a look around and don’t forget to ask about the Summer Cultural Events schedule in The Barn.
Author: Paula Thomas - Ridgeview Valley, LLC
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