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Lake Anna State Park honors volunteer couple

Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

Unveiling the sign designating Lodge 12 as Finch Lodge in honor of two stalwart park supporters are Clyde Cristman, director, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation ( l to r); Johnny and Jo Finch; Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Molly Ward, secretary, Virginia National Resources.

Vacation homes are often given nomenclatures reflecting an area’s historic aspects or the owner’s favorite pastime.

At Lake Anna State Park this past weekend, one of the park’s new family lodges instead recognizes the long-time dedication of Jo and Johnny Finch, a couple that has been instrumental in developing many of the amenities at the park.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation hosted a ribbon cutting on Sunday, April 2 at the lodges. Governor Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, were there to celebrate, as were Representative Bobby Orrock, 54th District, and Spotsylvania County Supervisor Greg Benton (Livingston District).

The Finches, of Spotsylvania County, were recognized for their 30-year involvement with the state park system. After the couple retired to Lake Anna, they recognized a need for a volunteer group to lobby for the park system as well as provide volunteers to complete projects at the parks.

The two were instrumental in the formation of the Friends of Lake Anna State Park, as well as the Virginia Association for Parks. Both are volunteer organizations working with the DCR to improve the state park system.

“The Finches are a natural fit to help grow the state parks,” Tim Shrader, state parks eastern field operations manager, said. “They have been a vital part of the team, part of the DCR family, and recognize the needs at the parks.”

The couple has fought to improve staffing at the parks and protect existing facilities while pushing the agency to add new ones, Shrader said. In addition, the Finches worked hard to get two bond referendums that benefitted parks passed.

To read the entire story, see the April 6, edition of The Central Virginian.