group photo, including Kitty Dooley, Larry Starcher, Tom Rodd

JR Clifford Project Celebrates Larry Starcher and Kitty Dooley

Way back in 2003, two “Blackwater heroes,” Attorney Kitty Dooley and Supreme Court Justice Larry Starcher, partnered with FOB Board member Tom Rodd to launch the J.R. Clifford Project.  The goal was to celebrate and publicize the story of John Robert Clifford (1848-1933), West Virginia’s first African American attorney. In the 1890s, Clifford represented the […]

logo of the West Virginia Non-Profit Association

Friends of Blackwater Featured at WVNPA Panel

On September 25th and 26th, non-profits from around the state met at Canaan Valley Resort for the West Virginia Non-Profit Association’s annual leadership summit. There were panels and workshops throughout the gathering, including one featuring Friends of Blackwater. The “New Approaches to Volunteerism” panel included Kelly Stadelman of the Tucker Community Foundation, Danny Swan of […]

volunteers work on a trail

Otter Creek Volunteer Day

On October 6th, Friends of Blackwater partnered with the Forest Service for a volunteer day in the Otter Creek Wilderness Area. While we didn’t get the massive workforce we were hoping for, we partnered with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards to work on 1.6 miles of the Shavers Mountain Trail down in the Otter Creek […]

view off bear rocks

Bill to Re-Authorize LWCF Passes Committee

On October 2nd, S.569 (the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act) passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. This bill would provide permanent re-authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a key program which has provided funds to parks, forests, and public lands throughout […]

Friends of Blackwater staff at Run For It

Run For It Weekend A Success

This weekend, team Friends of Blackwater competed in Run For It, Tucker County’s favorite community fundraiser.  Although we weren’t the fastest team, with costumes, live music, and great team spirit, we may have been one of the most fun. The Leaf Peepers Festival also took place in Davis the same weekend, and we had a […]

volunteers who have been cleaning up the historic roundhouse foundation along the rail trail

Volunteers Clean Up Historic Site

On September 22nd, a volunteer event organized by Friends of Blackwater, in partnership with the Forest Service, improved the visibility of the historic roundhouse foundation, located along the Blackwater Canyon rail trail near Thomas. The roundhouse was once used to turn trains arriving in Thomas around and send them back down the canyon. All that […]

Press Release: Citizens Object to Plan for Commercial Logging in Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Press Release: Friends of Blackwater Contact: Judy Rodd Office: 304-345-7663 cell: 304-552-7602 Date: September 17, 2018 Citizens Object to Plan for Commercial Logging in Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge The West Virginia conservation group Friends of Blackwater has filed a comment letter with the Fish and Wildlife Service challenging a proposal to commercially log […]


The JR Clifford Play

Friends of Blackwater’s J.R. Clifford Project organized plays dramatizing the court case that brought equality in education to West Virginia. The video below features some of those performances. The case was brought by schoolteacher Carrie Williams, who demanded that her African American students got the same length school year as white students. J.R. Clifford, a […]


A New Home For Liberty

Friends of Blackwater presented a series of historical plays about the founding of the state of West Virginia, as part of our J.R. Clifford Project. The video below shows some highlights from the performances. The “New Home for Liberty” plays highlight the important role that civil rights and anti-slavery advocates played in the creation of […]


North Fork Watershed Video

Learn about the origins of the North Fork Watershed Project with this video, which was created as part of the 15th West Virginia Watershed Celebration Day. This video features our executive director Judy Rodd and former staffer Brandae Mullens explaining the unique challenges of acid mine drainage in the North Fork.