"Is a state park in Highland County’s future? A group of Urban + Environmental Planning graduate students at the University of Virginia are researching the possibility. 

Elizabeth Nowak, a second year graduate student in Urban + Environmental Planning, and four of her peers (Zack Waldmeier, Elizabeth Munyan, Kun Dong, and Boning Dong) heard about Highland County's proposal from an informal local group of interested community members called Friends of Highland County State Park. Collectively, they got involved with this project as part of their final capstone project developing what is described by The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a pre-planning phase. There is currently no state park in Highland County, despite the rich variation of topography, beautiful landscapes and many hiking opportunities. Elizabeth explained that Friends of Highland County State Park thought: Why don’t we have a park here?

The students are developing proposals through research and design tools of mapping, programming and site analysis. To gather information, surveys are being conducted in order to gather public opinion and information. 

Learn more about the students' research on Highland County State Park through the interview on Allegheny Mountain Radio: