When Congress authorized the creation of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, it was with the condition that no federal dollars would be spent and that the land had to be donated to the federal government. Mr. Coner Yates, a dairy farmer from Culpeper, had a keen sense that establishing a national park in this part of Virginia would be extremely beneficial to individuals and business owners. Yates presented a $5 security deposit to the organization raising funds for the national park and eventually committed $30 toward the park’s establishment.
Now, 86 years after Coner Yates’ gift, his grandson, Greg Yates, continues his grandfather’s commitment to Shenandoah National Park by serving on our board. Greg’s property, part of which stems from the family farm, is under conservation easement and supports numerous hiking trails. Greg is an avid hiker in Shenandoah, as well, and he and his wife Liz have inspired their children to carry on the tradition of conservation and stewardship.