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Philanthropic efforts aimed at preserving a West Virginia natural jewel: Blackwater Falls

TUCKER COUNTY — The newly established Blackwater Falls State Park Foundation is set to bolster the conservation and enhancement efforts of one of West Virginia’s most beloved natural treasures.

Officially recognized in 2023 by the State of West Virginia as a not-for-profit corporation and by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity, the Foundation aims to support the iconic Blackwater Falls State Park through leadership in fundraising, public outreach, and advocacy.

Under the leadership of President Linda L. Cronin, Vice President Blaine Steensland, Treasurer Judy Cronauer, and Secretary Jonathan Moss, the Foundation’s board is comprised of dedicated individuals including Janet Wilson of the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society, Andrea Dalton from the Canaan Valley Master Naturalists, Brent Maynard of the Ohio Valley Astronomical Society, and Jessica Waldo, Executive Director of the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Paulita Cousin represents Blackwater Falls State Park, ensuring close collaboration with park staff.

Foundation President Linda Cronin emphasized the board’s commitment to addressing the park’s needs beyond state funding.

“The BFSP Foundation board members, drawn from the greater Tucker County region, meet monthly with the Blackwater Park SP staff to learn more about park operations and needs not covered by state appropriations,” Cronin said. “Joined with members of the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society, our immediate project is championing Blackwater Falls’ application for International Dark Sky Park designation. As part of that process significant upgrades to the park’s lighting will need to be tackled — and that is where the newly formed Blackwater Falls SP Foundation will be of assistance — through fundraising activities and grant applications.”

Individuals interested in the Foundation’s work or looking to contribute can reach out to President Linda Cronin via email at or follow the Blackwater Falls State Park Foundation on Facebook for updates and information.

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