For years, scientists, activists, public officials, and citizens from all walks of life have spoken out in favor of saving the Crow's Nest peninsula.  A sampling of their informative and eloquent words are collected here, along with some photos hinting at the beauty of Crow's Nest. (Even more quotes can be found here.)  Since Crow's Nest is privately owned, few citizens get to experience this natural beauty.  If Stafford County purchases and preserves this land, citizens could enjoy access to this beautiful area.

    We invite you to share your favorite photo of Crow's Nest with us.   Send us a .jpeg file with information on where and when you took the picture to 


Note: Click on the "thumbnail" image to see a larger version of the picture.

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"I hope that one day our descendants will be able to look back and see us as the ones who saved Crow's Nest for all posterity, instead of the ones who allowed cement to be poured over it." 
—Archer DiPeppe  
(Free Lance-Star, January 22, 2004)

“There are few sites anywhere in Virginia that can match the environmental and wildlife resources of Crow's Nest.”
—Paul Gilbert, President, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust

(letter to DEQ, October 14, 2004)

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"The Crow's Nest peninsula has one of the largest mature forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, certainly the largest in the Virginia Coastal Plain. This makes it an extremely important feeding and nesting stop for songbirds during their migration. The marshes, mostly owned by the state, are very valuable for waterfowl, especially nesting wood ducks, as well as for fish and shellfish.”
—Ronald E. Lambertson, Northeast Regional Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
(Press release, January 27, 2000,

"[I]t's what Stafford County stands to lose that's key here. It would lose forever a place where people could enjoy nature, undisturbed. Development--even limited or 'clustered' development--will chase away many of the animal species that call Crow's Nest home, including bald eagles and the largest giant blue heron rookery in the Chesapeake Bay watershed."
Free Lance-Star, editorial, September 16, 2005

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"Looking back on this time and the actions of our elected officials at all levels, will future generations see profiles in courage and vision, or see a group who, like Nero, fiddled while Crow’s Nest was bulldozed?
Norris Dickard
(Free Lance-Star, July 17, 2005)

”I’m a 23 year old male who’s been working in construction since my first summer vacation in high school. I've moved many tons of earth and cut up many trees in my 4 years working for an excavation company. I’ve seen animals' homes fall with the trees and filled with the soil. I’ve seen Civil War trenches erased so the land could accommodate a house foundation. I understand and accept growth & development; however, there are just some places that need to be left untouched. Of all the beautiful and historic places I would like to see remain 'untouched' Crows Nest would honestly be at the top of the list.”
—Erik Brito
(letter to DEQ, October 13, 2004)

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"[Crow’s Nest] is one of the most beautiful spots in Stafford County. If we fall asleep at the wheel it'll be gone forever."
—Kandy Hilliard, Stafford Board of Supervisors, Aquia District
(Free Lance-Star, September 10, 2003)

"[Crow’s Nest] is one of the very few places in Virginia that remain as pristine and naturally preserved as it was 400 years ago…We continue to believe it's an area that contains globally endangered forests and habitat for a wide array of important wildlife."
—Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
(Washington Post, December 28, 2004)

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“We must continue to work toward the preservation of this unique historic and environmental treasure for our children and future generations."
—Steven Apicella, chairman of the Stafford Republican Party
(Free Lance-Star, February 18, 2004)

“I call upon the Stafford County Board of Supervisors to act. The supervisors all say they want to save Crow's Nest; now they need to get serious about it. Preserving Crow's Nest is possible--other communities have found ways to preserve unique and beautiful areas. Surely we can do the same."
—Mary Becelia
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, March 7, 2004)

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"My family and I have lived in Fredericksburg for the past 20 years. During those years, we have seen our community drastically change. The increase in development, traffic congestion, and pollution that is occurring in our area is astounding. What is of more concern is the lack of planning, overall vision, and concern about maintaining a quality of life that we love. [...] Saving Crow's Nest from development is the first step we can take toward a more balanced community and preserving the character of Stafford County."
Scarlett Suhy-Pons
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, May 15, 2005)

"Crow's Nest is a phenomenal habitat for endangered species, sensitive species, rare species. This is an extremely important piece of habitat for this area."
—Aimee DeLach, Defenders of Wildlife
(Free Lance-Star, July 9, 2004)  

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"If developers want to show some good faith, why not acknowledge the obvious: Crow's Nest isn't appropriate for development. If it can't be saved, then all talk about 'solutions' that balance growth and preservation are nothing more than hot air."
Lil Robbins
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, July 21, 2005)

 “You can count on us to stand by you and support Crow's Nest.  Each and every one of us is supportive of the whole project. Whatever you do, don't accept defeat. Do battle here and do your best to save this."
—Jack Cavalier, Chair, Board of Supervisors, Griffis-Widewater District
(Free Lance-Star, January 22, 2004)

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“…with all the development taking place, we are at risk of losing a valuable natural resource. Once it's gone, it's gone. We can't wake up 10 years from now and say, 'We should have done something.' We can't 'develop' a new habitat for the many species of animals and birds that have called this area home for hundreds of years.”
—Bruce Levy
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, May 5, 2004)

“As a lifelong resident of Stafford County, I have seen the county change from a small community, dotted with small farms and forests to a concrete jungle ruled by the almighty developer and his deep pockets.  I do not make much money, but I would give my last penny to any effort to preserve Crow's Nest, which is quite possibly the most unique forest on the eastern Coastal Plain."
—Joshua Peters
(letter to DEQ, October 13, 2004)

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[Crow’s Nest] contains “some of the rarest forest communities on earth,” holding an “extremely unique assemblage of plant species”
—Tom Smith, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
(Free Lance-Star, January 13, 2004)

”I have carefully studied [Crow’s Nest’s] history and the efforts to preserve it and am convinced it must be saved from development."
—Jo Ann Davis, U.S. Representative (then candidate)
Press release, September 29, 2000 (

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“…the preservation of Crow's Nest helps maintain the aquatic health of Potomac and Accokeek Creeks, where large beds of native submerged aquatic vegetation help maintain good water quality…The remaining stands of hardwood trees at Crow's Nest are some of the largest in Virginia.  The biodiversity at Crow's Nest and the recreational opportunities for learning about Virginia's ecosystems is spectacular.”
—Hal Wiggins, Environmental Scientist, US Army Corps of Engineers
(letter to DEQ, October 14, 2004)

"This Fourth of July holiday, I paddled my kayak around the Crow's Nest area, as I often do. From a vantage point low in the water, I watched as a mature bald eagle powered its way across the river and settled somewhere inside the thick woods of the peninsula, beyond my vision. The experience lasted only a couple of minutes but was exhilarating, for this was the first time in my life I had seen a live bald eagle.
      Crow's Nest is a treasure that must be preserved, not forever despoiled by mindless development that will only increase the tax and traffic burden of the county's residents."
Ranjit Singh
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, September 8, 2005)

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[Crow's Nest is covered by mature forests that] "are home to plants and animals that do not thrive in the discontinuous, even aged stands that replace them. [...]  The Crow's Nest peninsula is home to two plants that are on the state's threatened or endangered species list: ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and river bullrush (Schoenoplectus fluviatilis). Habitat for other rare species exists on the peninsula [...] Additionally, there are 1,300 acres of tidal and nontidal wetlands that should be protected for plant habitat and for our water quality. [...] This entire ecosystem--beginning with the plants that support it, and including the many birds, insects, and mammals it supports--should be preserved."
Sally Anderson-Boyce, president of the Virginia Native Plant Society
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, September 16, 2005)

"I am an outdoor enthusiast who hunts, fishes, camps and hikes and out of all the forests that I've been on, I can honestly say Crow's Nest is the most special tract of land I have ever seen, it's a jewel that should have been preserved a long time ago…It would be a tragedy and we will fail our children if we do not do anything and everything possible to save Crow's Nest.”
—Joshua Peters
(letter to DEQ, October 13, 2004)

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“Visitors walking through the [Crow’s Nest] peninsula can typically see bald eagles, herons, foxes, many species of neotropical songbirds and mature tulip-poplar, sycamore, beech, hickory and oak trees 4 to 5 feet in diameter. Those who canoe the tidal marshes have a spectacular view of the steeply rising peninsula, extensive stands of yellow pond lily, wild rice and arrow arum, and glimpses of beavers, river otters, waterfowl and osprey.”
—US Fish & Wildlife Service
(Press release, January 27, 2000,

“Although landowners may retain the 'by-right' authority bestowed by man and local law to develop property they own as they so desire, is it morally and ethically right to do so even if you own it? …To quote John C. Sawhill, former president of the Nature Conservancy: ‘In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.’”
—Linda Hiross
(letter to the editor, Free Lance-Star, July 15, 2004)

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”The rapid increase of population and development requires that we protect jewels such as Crow's Nest….We applaud Stafford County's efforts to preserve Crow's Nest as a natural park area for the public for we know this preservation will help maintain and improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”
—John Tippett, Executive Director, Friends of the Rappahannock
(letter to DEQ, October 14, 2004)

“The 4,000-acre peninsula lying between Potomac and Accokeek creeks in Stafford County is perhaps the area's most ecologically valuable property. Within one of the largest heron rookeries on the East Coast and one of the last stands of old-growth forest on the seaboard, its ravines shelter rare plants, its marshes host migrating birds. On the land stands a 600-year-old pin oak, alive when Capt. John Smith explored the region.”
Free Lance-Star editorial, December 8, 2004

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“The [Crow’s Nest] peninsula has calcium-rich soil, which is rare in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The soil fosters rapid vegetative growth. The peninsula has deeply cut ravines that contribute to the high biological diversity of the area by supporting different habitats -- tidal wetlands, ravine bottoms, steep slopes and ridge crests -- in close proximity to each other.”
—US Fish & Wildlife Service
(Press release, January 27, 2000,

 “There are so few 'last great places' left in the Commonwealth and Crows Nest is definitely one of them.  Our county is growing by leaps and bounds and without pro-active measures to preserve natural buffers (environmental cushions already in place), the future of our air, water and quality of life is threatened.  By keeping Crows Nest intact, with its unique wildlife habitat, the county and the Commonwealth can guarantee a greater chance of success in cleaning up the Potomac River and the Chesapeake watershed.”
—Marie A. Gozzi
(letter to DEQ, October 15, 2004)

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“[Crow’s Nest] should be acquired and it ought to be a top priority.  The people of Stafford and the Fredericksburg area would be greatly benefited by having it protected and having access to it as a natural area preserve.”
—Tayloe Murphy, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources
(Free Lance-Star, January 11, 2005)


“Crow’s Nest must be protected now, not only for Stafford citizens and their children but for the Fredericksburg region and for all Virginians.”
—Doris Whitfield, Battlefields Sierra Group
(Stafford County Sun, April 21, 2004)

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“[With Crow’s Nest,] you’re talking about a spectacular addition to our natural-heritage program—maybe the gem."
—Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
(Free Lance-Star, January 9, 2004

"The unique environmental value of Crow's Nest comes precisely from the fact that it is a large, contiguous undeveloped area. Bulldozing roads, clear-cutting ridge tops for home sites, and introducing people and traffic to the peninsula would not only destroy the area being built upon, it would also ruin the environmental value of whatever nearby 'undeveloped' land remained. Instead, Crow's Nest must be preserved in its entirety if it is to be preserved at all."
Cecelia Kirkman and Kay Pangburn, Save Crow's Nest
(op-ed, Free-Lance Star, January 18, 2005)

Note: Quotes referenced as "letter to DEQ" are from letters citizens wrote to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, supporting the County's application for a low-interest loan to purchase Crow's Nest.