A relaxing rural sanctuary for America’s wounded warrior and their families has become more than an idea now that Loudoun County has given Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors the permission to move forward with building permits and fundraising efforts to create it.
The idea came from Ken and Julia Falke when they purchased the 37-acre plot outside of Bluemont in western Loudoun a year ago. Ken Falke is a retired U.S. Navy explosive ordinance disposal technician and master chief petty officer and a service-disabled Navy veteran.
Falkes saw firsthand the environment that wounded veterans from some Army medical centers in the area and decided there was a need for a local rural retreat in the Washington D.C. area.
“The site of Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors is perfect for [a] sanctuary,” Kellie Boles, an agricultural development officer for Loudoun County said in a release. “Ken’s vision to keep agricultural land productive, while supporting wounded warriors is a beautiful use of Loudoun County’s rural assets. The Rural Business Development team is looking forward to supporting the project through the development phase and throughout future growth and expansion phases.”
Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors is a nonprofit organization with the goal to provide a free, “first-class haven” for wounded veterans and their families.
“We hope that families will come out and stay for several days and take advantage of the benefits the retreat will offer,” Ken Falkes said in a release. “Even short day trips to the countryside provide for much needed rest and relaxation.”
“Many of the severely wounded service men and women I have met are young enlisted personnel that make on average less than $2,000 a month. The majority of the injuries they incurred in Iraq and Afghanistan will affect them for life,” Ken Falkes said in a release.
Boulder Crest Retreat is 60 miles northwest of Washington D.C. in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The retreat would offer nature walks, gardening, foraging, photography, bird and wildlife watching, archery and other outdoor activities. There will also be off-site activities such as tubing and kayaking on the Shenandoah River or hiking the Appalachian Trail.
The Falkes are targeted for an initial capital raise of $10 million, of which $5 million will fund the physical construction of the retreat. The construction includes four handicap accessible “greentech” cabins, meeting house with organic farm-to-table meals, walled organic garden and field, bird sanctuary and fishing pond. The remaining funds would support operating costs for the first five years of operation. For more information on the retreat visit bouldercrestretreat.org.
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