All Are Invited to Free Community Update Session on April 23;
Wide Range of Information Also Now Available at

Winchester, VA, 4/20/2018 . . . At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) Executive Director Dana Hand Evans will announce that construction of a much-anticipated project, The Trails at the MSV, is beginning.

In addition, Evans will announce, the final push to raise $1.1 million to complete the project is underway with the launch of a new website, The new site will allow people to sign up for free tours of the future trails (June 6 and July 7), ask questions about the project, get the latest project news, see a map of the trails and concept images of its highlights, and make the project happen by donating online.

Today’s announcement follows that of four years ago when Director Evans unveiled the MSV plan to open 90 acres of its 214-acre landscape as a free-admission park open year-round. The park will include more than three miles of trails for walking, running, and biking. Traversing through fields, woods, and wetlands, the trails will be accentuated with outdoor art installations. The project preserves more than 80 acres of the MSV landscape—the largest green space in the City of Winchester—as farm fields where cows will continue to graze.

Since the initial announcement of The Trails at the MSV, says Director Evans, $5 million has been raised toward the total project cost of $7.2 million, leaving a gap of $2.2 million. Evans notes that thanks to a grant from the Glass–Glen Burnie Foundation, which matches every dollar donated, only $1.1 million is now needed to make The Trails at the MSV a reality. Today Evans will ask the community to join the effort to build and open The Trails in 2019 by donating to the project at

Along with providing trails, the project that gets underway today includes a new Amherst Street entrance and access road into the MSV site, new parking lots at the trailhead and in front of the museum building, and scenic overlooks. The Trails at the MSV will connect to the City of Winchester’s Green Circle and be accessible from pedestrian entrances near the Old John Kerr School (future Winchester Public School Innovation Center), at the end of Jefferson Street, and at the northeastern corner of the MSV property on Amherst Street (near the Wellspring building).

Among those who are expected to be on hand to celebrate today’s groundbreaking are the first and most recent donors to the trails project.  Special guests will include, Rupert Werner, who along with his late wife Kathryn Perry Werner, made the first gift to the project to fund the new scenic entrance road that will wind through pastures to the Museum. Members of The Little Garden Club of Winchester, which just this week presented a donation of $20 thousand to the MSV to install a wildflower garden at the new Amherst Street entrance, will also be in attendance. Officials from The City of Winchester also are anticipated to attend today’s groundbreaking and celebrate funding totaling $1,383,887 from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) programs, which resulted from the city’s partnership with the MSV.

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony will conclude with Director Evans’s invitation to all who are interested to attend a Community Update Session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 23, to learn more about The Trails at the MSV. Admission is free, but due to space limitations, those interested in attending are encouraged to register at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 240. Evans will also encourage those interested in The Trails at the MSV to access the wide variety of information available about the project at and to join others around the community who are helping make this new park happen with their financial contributions.  According to Evans, gifts of any amount are welcomed and will make a difference.

A regional cultural center that attracts nearly 65,000 visitors yearly and has 1,700 members, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens; in Fiscal Year 2016–17, the Museum presented 335 programs that engaged more than 27,000 people of all ages. The galleries and exhibitions are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December.–END–