October 8, 2021
NVCT and Save River Farm Friends,

When our organization was first alerted to the potential sale of River Farm a year ago and asked to get involved in an effort to save it, I have to say that I had my doubts. How could we build an army of supporters, raise the type of funds, and get the publicity necessary to mount a campaign that would be taken seriously?

The answer, it turns out, was to trust in the incredible determination, steadfastness, and resilience of Virginians like you to join us and believe that we could win.  
As a result of this unprecedented campaign that brought together like-minded historical, architectural, and conservation organizations, parks groups, civic associations, committed neighbors, political leaders and so many others, I'm proud to say that George Washington's historic River Farm is now officially off the market and no longer for sale. This incredible development was preceded by the departure early last week of several AHS board members and staff who had unfortunately championed the sale of this venerable site.

Over the course of the past year, you never stopped signing petitions, donating money, making phone calls, promoting social media, and involving your friends in this fight. These collective actions provided the political pressure and moral high ground necessary to ensure that Enid Annenberg Haupt's generous gift to the American Horticultural Society would continue to be honored and never be lost.  
NVCT got involved in and agreed to lead this campaign because of River Farm's unique cultural, historical, and ecological value, and now we hope to have the opportunity to work with you and with AHS to support its future. The courageous AHS board members and staff who persevered through the last year and ultimately succeeded in saving River Farm need our help. 
They need volunteers to again give their time, donors to again invest their dollars, and the public to return to River Farm as soon as the gates are re-opened. 

We also need to make sure that what happened at River Farm over the past year never happens again, so we are very excited to hear that the new leadership of AHS would like to consider a conservation easement or deed restrictions on the property that would forever protect the site from future development. Making this a reality would also put significant financial resources into AHS' coffers as they chart a path forward, and such an opportunity is exactly what NVCT has been helping Northern Virginia businesses, local governments, and individuals do for the last 27 years. Hopefully, we can do the same here.

As we continue working together to help AHS thrive at River Farm, it's going to take all of our varied talents, expertise, and experience, much as was needed to help save it in the first place. There were so many moments during this past year that River Farm could have been lost, and yet, with the incredibly diverse voices that we collectively assembled, we always found the answer. 
Let's continue to do that.
Thank you for standing tall and making your voice heard loud and clear that River Farm must remain a piece of our collective history and now our future. That voice has been heard, and it's a welcome reminder that there's always more than one path to success if you remain positive and open-minded.
-Save River Farm Committee Chair/NVCT Executive Director, Alan Rowsome