Friday, June 14, 2019

LOCATIONS: Hilton Ravine Restoration

Assuming all has gone to plan and no special travel surprises have popped up, Ginger and Kara should be state-side again. You can expect to see some blog posts concerning our travel, our discoveries, and future Owl's Flower fun once we've both recovered. While we're shaking off the jet lag, though, we wanted to point out something that's actually relevant to our readers: the restoration of what was once an inspiration for a locale in our book.

Herne's forest — bits of it, at least — were inspired by the Hilton Ravine, right next to Kara's elementary school. Back in the day it bore a lot more of a resemblance to what you read about in the books. However, the pocket park is also a drainage area for local storm water, which is eventually funneled out into the nearby James River.

The City of Newport News made some changes recently to upgrade that system. The good news is, it worked; the bad news is, the construction destroyed lots of old trees and growth, leaving the forested area... uh... a lot less forested.

So Kara was thrilled last month to see a door hanger left by the Newport News Green Foundation, looking to restore the ravine! Obviously, the overgrown forest of Kara's childhood that inspired Herne's home in William's Grove is likely gone for good. But their plans to beautify the area and make it a welcoming place for locals, as well as re-plant trees, is an exciting move.

Go check out their initiative online. If you feel inclined, be sure to donate a little. Since Kara's still just a walk from the site, she'll be sure to fill people in on how the restoration goes!


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