Visitor Spotlight

Manuel Lerdau first visited Shenandoah in 1975 on his fifth grade field trip to Old Rag Mountain.  He was hooked from that day on.
In the early 1990s, Manuel went backpacking in Shenandoah with his girlfriend, a Utah native, to prove to her that “we had real mountains here and a quiet beauty and richness of life that stood up well against the Wasatch.” Apparently, she was convinced; she now lives on the East Coast and backpacks in the Appalachians regularly.
Manuel turned his passion for the outdoors into his profession and is on the Environmental Science faculty at UVa. He is concerned about the many threats Shenandoah’s natural resources face, including invasive, non-native plants and pests—like trees of heaven, mile-a-minute vine and the emerald ash borer, which decimates white ash trees–and pollution impacts on the forest.  He got involved with Shenandoah National Park Trust initially because of his love for our park and our concerns for the threats it faces.
“I’m glad to know that the Trust is there,” Manuel said, “year-in and year-out, to help protect our national park’s incredible resources. Being involved with this organization is a great way to stay connected with park priorities and with other people who love Shenandoah as much as my family and I do.”