Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Receives $10,000 Healing the Planet Grant

Wed, 07/13/2022 - 13:30

Funding will be used to naturalize the Visitor Center/Rouss Spring Hillside

To help improve the health of our local waterways, the Winchester-Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WFCCVB) announced today it is the recipient of a $10,000 Healing the Planet grant from The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

The WFCCVB will be using the grant funds to remove invasive plant species and landscape the hillside between the Visitor Center and Abram’s Pond. The hillside has become thickly overgrown with invasive plants and trees since the Visitor Center was built around 2007. The goal of the landscaping project is three-fold. First, it will improve watershed management for Rouss Spring, which feeds Wilkins Lake, Abrams Run and eventually Opequon Creek. Second, it will be planted with strictly native grasses, shrubs, and trees to improve the biodiversity of the area. Finally, a variety of native flowering perennials will also be planted to create a healthy pollinator habitat. The Visitor Center has partnered with Shenandoah University and Dr. Iara Lacher from Seven Bends Nursery to craft and implement a multi-year plan to clear the hillside, prep it, and plant a variety of minimum-maintenance native plants.

“We are very thankful to receive this grant, which will allow us to be increasingly better stewards of the land by the Visitor Center,” said Justin Kerns, Executive Director of the WFCCVB. “There is a great opportunity for us, being in an especially visible location to both locals and visitors from around the country, to showcase the beauty of our native flora and educate members of the public who come here.”

More than $300,000 in funding was awarded by The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in support of projects that aimed at improving the health and quality of waterways to help protect water resources and improve the overall health of communities. Eligible projects included stream health and water quality monitoring activities, marine debris removal, storm water/MS4 education initiatives, lake/pond ecology, watershed education activities, watershed landscape measures, rain gardens, streambank restoration, erosion control, AMD remediation, rain barrels, pollution abatement and source water protection. Funding for the grants was provided by customers at GIANT, MARTIN'S, and GIANT Heirloom Market stores who agreed to round up their grocery purchase to the nearest dollar from March through May.

About the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau (WFCCVB)

The WFCCVB is a joint-funded Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) representing the City of Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia. In addition to marketing the destination to leisure, group, wedding, sports and business travelers, the WFCCVB operates a modern, state-certified Visitor Center located at 1400 S Pleasant Valley Rd in Winchester on the edge of the Shenandoah University Campus. The Visitor Center, located at 1400 S Pleasant Valley Rd in Winchester, is open year-round, 7 days a week from 9am-5pm.

About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has worked with hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the state to pick up nearly 148 million pounds of trash from Pennsylvania's roadways, waterways, greenways, vacant lots, forestlands and other community spaces. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s core programming focuses on litter and illegal dump prevention, cleanup, community greening, and proper waste handling and sustainable practices.  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works with many partnering organizations on the state and grassroots level to accomplish our goal of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania.  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit  

About The GIANT Company

The GIANT Company ​believes that no matter where or how, when meals happen, families connect, and when families connect meaningfully, good happens. Guided by its brand platform, For Today’s Table®, the omni-channel retailer proudly serves millions of neighbors across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. A Great Place to Work™ certified company with more than 35,000 talented team members supporting nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and over 150 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of zip codes, The GIANT Company is changing the customer experience and connecting families for a better future. Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Pa., The GIANT Company family of brands includes GIANT, MARTIN'S, GIANT Heirloom Market, GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct. The GIANT Company is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA. For more information, visit the GIANT or MARTIN’S websites.