The Virginia chapter of TACF was formed in 2006. Of course, Virginia is in the heart of chestnut country and has been at the center of the restoration effort from the beginning. The national research facility is located in Meadowview, in southwest Virginia, and scientists at Virginia Tech have been involved in chestnut research since long before there was a state chapter. The formation of the Virginia chapter kicked off the effort to develop a tree specifically adapted to the climates and soils of the northern part of the Commonwealth. The chapter office opened in Marshall in 2008 to provide a convenient place for meetings and volunteer training programs.
The Virginia Chapter’s Officers and Board of Directors are drawn from throughout the state’s regions.
The Virginia chapter shares a Regional Science Coordinator with the Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia chapters. The Regional Science Coordinator is the liaison among the chapters and with the national organization and oversees the breeding program in the state. The Regional Science Coordinator for Virginia is Tom Saielli. He can be contacted at his office in the Virginia Department of Forestry offices:
900 Natural Resources Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Cell (828) 450-9100
A Southwest Virginia Branch of the chapter focuses on activities in and around Meadowview. Contact information for the branch is:
29010 Hawthorne Drive
Meadowview, VA 24361
A Catawba Valley Branch conducts activities in the Roanoke and Blacksburg areas.
The first two Virginia chapter chestnut breeding orchards were established in 2007. There are now 14orchards, including two with only pure American trees to be used for future breeding and research. Our goal is to have at least one breeding orchard in each county west of the fall line and north of Roanoke.