Monday, September 1, 2014

Episode 229 (9-1-14): Virginia’s National Park Service Units Contain a Common Wealth of Waters, Lands, and History

Click to listen to episode (4:00)


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 1, 2014.

This week, we start with three sounds representing Virginia’s role in a nationwide system of treasured lands, waters, and history.


Chesapeake Bay waves, the flow of Bull Run near Manassas, and a replica cannon’s boom frame the importance of Virginia within the National Parks Service system.  Of about 400 units in the system, 34 are located partly or entirely within the Commonwealth.  Virginia units include natural-resource parks, historical parks, national monuments, overland trails, watertrails, and parkways.  They stretch from the Assateague Island National Seashore in Accomack County to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Lee County.  Let’s take a 45-second musical tour of the locations in that diverse range: Yorktown, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Cumberland Gap.  The artists are first, Bobby Horton; second, Bob Gramann and Laura Lengnick; and third, Timothy Seaman and Dwight Diller.


Water is a key part of many Park Service units in Virginia.  In nature-based units, like Assateague, water and aquatic systems are often a focal point.  In many historical units, such as the battlefield parks at Yorktown and Manassas, rivers or other waterways helped shape significant national events.  And in  Virginia’s mountainous units—the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park—water has carved gaps and valleys, sustained human settlements, and supported diverse plant and animal communities.  The Park Service’s Water Resources Division aims to “ensure that current and future generations can experience healthy aquatic ecosystems in the National Park System.”  Virginians have a big stake in helping achieve that goal.  Thanks to Bobby Horton, Bob Gramann, and Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s music, and we end with part of Mr. Seaman’s and Paulette Murphy’s rendition of “Shenandoah.”

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 8/27/14]

Thornton River, Shenandoah National Park, Rappahannock County, Va., June 19, 2006.
The musical selections, in order played, were as follows:
“Surrender of Cornwallis,” a traditional song performed by Bobby Horton on the 2008 album “
Homespun Songs of the Patriots in the American Revolution,” copyright Bobby Horton, used with permission.  More information about Mr. Horton is available online at  This music was featured previously in Virginia Water Radio Episode 139 (3/19/12).

“Mountain Stream,” by Bob Gramann with Laua Lengnick on fiddle, from “See Further in the Darkness,” used with permission.  Bob Gramann’s Web site is  “Mountain Stream” was featured previously in Virginia Water Radio Episode 209 (4-14-14) and Episode 156 (4-8-13).

“Cumberland Gap,” a traditional tune performed by Timothy Seaman and Dwight Diller on the 2004 CD “Virginia Wildlife,” copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  Mr. Seaman’s Web site is  The “Virginia Wildlife” CD was a collaboration between Mr. Seaman and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; for more information, visit  “Cumberland Gap” was previously featured in the Virginia Water Radio Episode 126 (9/3/12).

“Shenandoah,” a traditional tune performed by Timothy Seaman and Paulette Murphy (start of the selection “Hazel River”) on the 1997 CD “Here on this Ridge,” copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  The CD was a project celebrating Shenandoah National Park and the people and lands of the Blue Ridge.  Mr. Seaman’s Web site is  This music was used featured previously in Virginia Water Radio Episode 130 (10-1-12).

The sound of Bull Run in Manassas National Battlefield in Prince William County, Virginia, on July 20, 2014.

The cannon sound was recorded at the James River Batteaux Festival in Lynchburg, Va., on June 15, 2013.

Sources for this episode

National Park Service (NPS) main Web site,

NPS, “Frequently Asked Questions,” online at

NPS, “National Historic Landmarks in Virginia,” online

NPS, “Shenandoah National Park,” online at

NPS, “Virginia,” online at

NPS, “Water Resources,” online at