[crb_slide image=”https://www.rainforesttrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ribbon1.png” credits=”Ribbon cutting at International Conservation House” title=”” text=””]
[crb_slide image=”https://www.rainforesttrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Conservation-House-2.jpg” credits=”International Conservation House from above” title=”” text=””]
[crb_slide image=”https://www.rainforesttrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ribbon2.png” credits=”Mayor Powell Duggan of Warrenton during ribbon cutting ceremony” title=”” text=””]
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On Thursday, October 29th, Rainforest Trust hosted the grand opening of International Conservation House, a campus where like-minded organizations work together to protect some of the world’s most endangered wildlife. International Conservation House has helped to establish Warrenton, Virginia, as a key player in global conservation efforts.
Last week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony educated the public about the many organizations comprising International Conservation House and was attended by more than 100 guests. The event allowed attendees to tour the historical house and meet with resident conservationists.
Owned by the descendants of Dr. Murdock Head, International Conservation House is a 19th century manor surrounded by 90 stunning acres of forests, meadows and lakes. Located on Airlie’s northern property, the grounds once welcomed numerous global leaders and policymakers who frequently convened to discuss environmental concerns and social issues from all over the world.
The property has a rich history of supporting environmental organizations. In 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson met with students there to discuss the concept of Earth Day, which is now a worldwide event celebrated every April 22 to support environmental stewardship. The property was also home to a Trumpeter Swan research program and other environmental studies. Unfortunately, after Dr. Head’s death in 1994, the property became quiet for many years.
Momentum to reopen the facility began when Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust, was searching for a base to launch a conservation campus for like-minded nonprofits. On the cusp of deciding to leave Fauquier county for a great opportunity near Princeton University in New Jersey, Dr. Salaman came across Fauquier’s hidden gem – the local Airlie property that he and his team at Rainforest Trust would develop into International Conservation House.
“Thanks to the generosity and encouragement of the Head family, Rainforest Trust was able to stay and grow in Fauquier County alongside other great organizations,” said Dr. Salaman. “We are pleased to reopen the doors of International Conservation House to firmly establish Fauquier County as a hub for global conservation organizations and to rekindle Dr. Head’s passion for global environmental issues.”
Rainforest Trust officially moved into the manor house in early 2015, renaming the property International Conservation House and inviting seven like-minded organizations to join, including Amphibian Survival Alliance, Africa ASAP, Education for Nature-Vietnam, Conservation Allies, BlueLine Conservation and Permian Global.
“Having all of these organizations under one roof is helping to build partnerships in a way that might not otherwise be possible,” Dr. Salaman said. “We have created a place where ideas are ignited amongst people who share common values and organizations that share common goals.”
From tropical habitat preservation in Latin America to anti-poaching efforts in Africa and environmental education programs in Asia, the seven conservation organizations at International Conservation House are striving to provide a better future for the planet.
About Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Trust is a U.S. nonprofit conservation organization based in Warrenton, Virginia, focused on purchasing and protecting tropical habitat for endangered species in partnership with local communities and in-country conservation organizations. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved 8 million acres of rainforest and other tropical habitats and has 184 projects in 32 countries.