Dorothy Batten, Owner
I love to travel and my favorite trips have been the ones where the nature and environment is most spectacular, i.e. New Zealand, Africa, Galapagos, Alaska, Indonesia. There are many beautiful sites still on my bucket list, but I learned years ago that many of these places are being adversely affected by climate change, and the clock is running out.
I first became involved in conservation in the 1990’s when I visited Peru and saw the destruction of the tropical Andes from mining companies. My most astounding environmental experiences have been in the bush observing the large species of Africa, and particularly learning that I could hear the low frequency communications of elephants. My favorite outdoor activity is forest or jungle bathing.
Oakencroft has always been one of the most beautiful properties in the Charlottesville area, and it was one of the last unprotected large parcels of land close to Charlottesville which had many building rights on it – a developers dream. My goal in purchasing the property was to protect it from development, restore it after the decades of unfavorable cattle management practices, replant an abundance of trees, enrich the land and soil, and support more biodiversity of plants, birds, wildlife.
One of my favorite spots on the farm (other than my house) is the section of Brown’s Creek between the bridge and the dam. This is where much of the wildlife congregates to drink water and where I have spotted turkeys, foxes, deer, and coyote.
I am excited to bring in experts and host conversations about how to be the best steward of the land.