Why Rappahannock?
(YouTube link)



Kaye Kohler is working on a project with Tracy and Mathieu Mazza to film local residents, their stories of Rappahannock, what the county means to them, thoughts on the past and the future and whatever they want to say!  First filming was Monday, Nov 13.  There will be a second opportunity some time after the New Year.  Our intent is to work with The Historical Society and other groups to further this endeavor to preserve the culture and natural resource of Rappahannock’s residents.

Call for details or

if you know someone who might be interested or interesting!  The Mazzas filmed our interview with founder Phil Irwin top left of page.  The new films will include images as a backdrop.


RAPPAHANNOCK GOES SOLAR.  An RLEP committee chaired by Larry Wohlers represented 39 Rappahannock residents to form a cooperative for 20% savings on top of the 30% Federal Tax Credit for solar installations. Read More




A Hard Working 2016
Trash Free Rapp Crew

April is EARTH MONTH every year:  RLEP revived TRASH FREE RAPPAHANNOCK in 2016. Orange Vests and Bags were available all over the county for roadside cleanup, plus free pickup by VDOT.  READ MORE


Preserving the natural resources and rural character of Rappahannock County


    Native Plants = Native Insects
      = Native Birds
     Broaden YOUR native species!

The Ghost Ship Spider

What's Up
 Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Ruffed Grouse

 RLEP supports
Rappahannock Nature Camp
Scholarships to Camp Vesuvius


Pileated Woodpecker

Wild Turkeys

Tiger and Son (Yikes!)



Notice the Light?

Rappahannock is a tiny dark spot just west of DC (if you can find it!).  We can still see the stars of our Milky Way Galaxy just by walking outside at night and looking up!  But we are at risk of light pollution ruining that view.


RLEP has replaced old lights with Dark Skies compliant lights at Shaw’s Services, B&B Auto, and The Corner Store in Sperryville.  These businesses now all have down-shielded lights that will not inhibit the view of the night skies for the surrounding community.  Several local residences have also made the change. In the event you want to participate in preserving the night skies and our view of the Milky Way call our RLEP Dark Skies coordinator Torney Van Acker at 703-250-7943.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative has joined us in this effort and offers to replace any old, globe style fixture with a new Dark Skies LED model…for FREE.  Again, call Torney for full information.

Fee free to follow this brief power point on the benefits of Dark Skies. POWER POINT


August 25, 2018:  Full Moon & Planet Viewing Event at Rappahannock County Park.  Astronomers will be on hand with telescopes to view the planets and rising full moon!  A spotter scope will be available to attach to your cell phone camera for a great shot of the moon that will awe your friends.  Learn about the planets and have fun.  This event supports obtaining the International Darkskies Association (IDA) designation for the county park as a Silver Tier Dark Skies Park.  There is only one other park in Virginia and few on the East Coast!  Starts at 7:00 PM

April 28, 2018: Greg Redfern, NASA Solar System Ambassador, returns for a new, fantastic, in-door power point display on the universe…”The Birth, Life and Death of Stars” … you don’t want to miss this.  Greg’s presentations are amazing, from the depths of the universe to the new James Webb telescope to last year’s blockbuster “The Universe and You” attended by nearly 300 people. Location:  Castleton Festival Building, 7 Castleton Meadows Ln, Castleton, VA. Supporting Dark Skies Over Rappahannock

2018: 2nd Stroll For The Soul will be held this summer.  Watch for updates!

April 14, 2018: Dark Skies presentation at the County Park across Rte 211 from Town of Washington.  Astronomers, telescopes and night star photographers entertained.

June 2017  A Stroll for the Soul began with a walk through the grounds of Hillhouse Native Pant Nursery.  2018 will explore Native Plant venues and other inspiring natural elements.  Watch for scheduling!  These will be fun with great information on how to support native plants, butterflies, bees and the native insects our song birds need to feed their young!

May 27, 2017: : NASA Solar Ambassador Greg Redfern presented a lively and colorful tour of the Universe in the Castleton Theatre Festival Building in support of Rappahannock’s night skies and the Shenandoah National Park’s desire to be designated a “Dark Skies Certified Park”. FREE to the public.  280 people attended this amazing event.

2016 Solar Cooperative: RLEP took 39 local homes solar by contracting in bulk and soliciting low cost bids to augment the 30% federal tax credit. A new cooperative has formed to continue the project in 2017-18.  Call for details.

2016 Starry Nights kicked off last October with three astronomers, two large telescopes, night star photography lessons and other exhibits. 

The Andromeda Galaxy, the Boy Scout star (actually two stars, one blue and one gold which make up the head of the Swan in the constellation Cignus), many constellations and millions of stars were on fine display.

2015: Butterfly Trail Bridge was built for the Town of Washington in support of native plants, insects and birds.


RLEP provides Scholarships for local children to Camp Vesuvius (A two week Garden Clubs of VA project)

RLEP supports Rappahannock Nature Camp.

Science News Magazine is supplied to the High School

Seminars and Forums on everything from Native Plants to Invasive Species to Night Skies to Ticks!

Monitoring of the State Legislature and local Board of Supervisors with Actions taken as may be appropriate for Environmental concerns.

RLEP Representation is always present at the Board of Supervisor and Planning Commission Meetings.

 We invite you to JOIN US in the preservation of Rappahannock County, a special place, … not achieved by accident!  We owe it to ourselves and future generations to be proper stewards of our beautiful environment.