A Gift of Birds- Resident Nelson Potter Donates Art To Natural Bridge

Discovery at Natural Bridge

This past winter at Natural Bridge State Park, the rangers have been hard at work renovating the basement of the Visitor Center, sometimes known as the Rockbridge Center, to create a large classroom area and discovery center.  In previous years and iterations of the property, this area served as an arcade and community meeting space, but now plays host to some of [KaLex resident] Nelson Potter’s excellent craftsmanship.

Potter’s Impressive Bird Carvings on Display

Mr. Potter brought his carvings to  be juried for our Artisan Center and decided to donate some of his impressive carvings of native birds, including a pileated woodpecker, a cooper’s hawk, and a red-tailed hawk (photo by author).  This happily coincided with the development of our wildlife exhibit space, and his sculptures are so detailed and  realistic that we’re thrilled to include them amongst our mounts and pelts.  The carvings will be an important part of the burgeoning educational capacity of Natural Bridge State Park, which will feature exhibits on wildlife, geology, stream ecology, history, forestry, and more.

Educational Resource

The rangers hope that, in addition to serving tourists passing through the area, the park will serve as an educational resource for the community.  What we’re seeing is a park by the community, for the community, and Mr. Potter’s donation is not only incredibly generous, but a great example of someone lending their talent to a project that will help educate thousands of visitors about the world at Natural Bridge State Park, and Rockbridge County as a whole.  We’re very grateful to Mr. Potter for his skill and generosity.  The carvings will be viewable this fall at the Base Camp at Natural Bridge State Park.

– – Ranger Matthew Jackson(head of the education department at NBSP)