Forty-nine runners (and one dog) turned out for the first annual Trout-N-About 5.5K in southern Virginia on May 10. The event was organized by the Dan River Basin Association as a fundraiser for the region’s Trout in the Classroom program. DRBA coordinates 42 TIC tanks in southern Virginia and Rockingham County, N.C.
TU member and local orthodontist Dr. David Jones was a major sponsor of the event. Dr. Jones first brought the TIC program to Virginia in 2005.
“Trout in the Classroom has been educating our region’s students about conservation and protection of our natural resources while improving academic performance in the classroom for almost a decade since Dr. David Jones started the program,” said Tiffany Haworth, executive director of the Dan River Basin Association. “DRBA has a waiting list of teachers hoping to be able to have a TIC tank next school year. We wish to express a huge thanks to our sponsors, runners and volunteers who supported this event which helps to fund the amazing and impactful program. We hope to be able to provide this program for a long time. ”
The 5.5k race will help TIC in the coming years as more Trout-N-About races are planned across the basin. This year’s course traversed a variety of terrain, including a knee-deep section of the Smith River, which runners negotiated with the aid of safety ropes.
In addition to Dr. Jones, sponsors of the event included Henry County Parks and Recreation, Nat Greene Fly Fishers, Piedmont Shopper, Mollie’s Originals, Uptown Sweets and Woods Produce.
“Partnerships with local businesses, Henry County Parks and Recreation and amazing volunteers help events like the trout run and the development of additional trails in our county,” said Brian Williams, program manager for DRBA.
“The excitement and interest among the students while taking care of the fish, watching them grow and then making the trip to the river is different from any lesson they can receive from a textbook,” said Krista Hodges, education outreach coordinator for DRBA. “However, TIC cannot continue to grow without the help of donations from private funders and fundraisers.”
DRBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin through recreation, stewardship, and education. Learn more about their work at danriver.org.