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Our Story

About Us

COREworks is an initiative of Boxerwood Education Association (BEA), an established not-for-profit environmental organization serving rural Rockbridge County, Virginia. Its Nature Center and Woodland Garden is located just outside Lexington within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Boxerwood’s mission is to educate and inspire people of all ages to become environmentally responsible stewards of the Earth. COREworks is the newest path in the journey.

The idea for COREworks first sprung to life in 2020. A student group at nearby Washington & Lee University (WLU) aspired to offset the environmental impact of a large campus event (MockCon 2020) by making a generous donation to Boxerwood. This visionary action in turn sparked many conversations and a two-year R&D process, culminating in the public launch of COREworks in early 2022.

Boxerwood educators design and manage COREworks, drawing on expertise in sustainability, conservation, forestry, communications, citizen engagement, ecology, and administration. Special shout-out to researchers Rose Bull (WLU ‘20) and Ginny Johnson (WLU ‘20), our COREworks Fellows for 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively.

COREworks is at heart a deeply collaborative venture.  We recognize early and sustained collaborations with friends affiliated with Washington and Lee University and from the Rockbridge Conservation. The COREworks model arises from the shared vision of many people, both near and far. As COREworks grows, so do our ever-evolving partnerships, the foundation of our success.


From the start, we knew Rockbridge County would be a great fit for COREworks. Like many rural areas, our community possesses an asset often under appreciated in wider circles: strong relationships with the land and with each other. 

Many of us have hunted or farmed for generations. Some of us enjoy fishing or paddling in local rivers. Others treasure the beauty of their more recently discovered home. Whoever we are and whatever our station in life, most of us are glad we live where we live.

By geography, culture, and necessity, those of us who call Rockbridge County home are also self-reliant and resourceful. We live the values of personal responsibility. At the same time we also know what it’s like to work together for the good of the whole.

The same collaborative spirit that brings folks together to create volunteer fire departments also informs COREworks.  In a 21st century version of neighbor-helping-neighbor, COREworks gives all kinds of people an opportunity to put shared values into action for mutual well-being.  


We may not be putting out actual fires, but COREworks provides communities like ours a new tool for safeguarding the natural world, our common home. 


COREworks is a practical tool for greening the local economy, but at heart, it’s so much more. From its start to its flourishing, COREworks is the expression of human creativity: a story of people coming together to make a difference right where they live. 

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