Saving Junction – A Gallery of Givers

Junction wasn’t saved by a miracle. It was saved by miracle workers.

It was only three weeks before the auction that the non-profit community was alerted to the disturbing news that one of Ohio’s great earthwork treasures was heading to auction. Two weeks before auction a coalition of four non-profits formed to try to achieve the seemingly impossible – to raise the 1.2 million dollars necessary to buy Junction off the auction block. Eight days before auction the Arc’s web campaign finally went on-line. Seven days before auction a  video on Junction was published on YouTube. And then, four days before auction the Junction Campaign went viral. Over a thousand households contributed to the campaign and when the Coalition walked into auction room to begin bidding on March 18, 2014, they carried $350,000 in pledges in their pockets. As it turned out, a Clean Ohio grant would fund the rest. The rest of the story is history – the successful outcome evidenced by the beautiful park which surrounds visitors today.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many self-determined,

hardworking and generous people who made Junction’s dream a reality.


Bruce Lombardo, Director of Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, started the campaign and formed the coalition to save Junction Earthworks – at a time when everyone else thought the attempt futile. HEC ignited the passion of the archaeological community and raised $35,000 for the cause.


Paul Gardner, Midwest Regional Director of The Archaeological Conservancy brought to the campaign his organization’s extensive experience in saving and managing historic sites all across the nation. TAC made the fist large campaign pledge of $50,000, kick-starting the campaign with contagious hope.


Jarrod Burks, Archaeologist and President of Heartlands Earthworks Conservancy, surveyed Junction years before the campaign, discovering that all nine of the site’s earthwork foundations remained intact. In the years following, Jarrod heavily promoted the regional importance of Junction Earthworks.


Aaron Rourke, Director of Rivers Unlimited, was the “man on the ground.” While others in the Coalition were tied to their computers, Aaron was on the move with sleep the least of his priorities. He talked to commissioners and trustees, knocked on neighbors’ doors, and built win-win partnerships in the local community.


Rick Perkins, Chief Ranger of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park was the Coalitions problem-solver and “big thinker.” He convinced the Coalition to not only focus on saving the earthworks, but to create a park of substantial size, one that would protect both Junction’s archaeological treasures and its many acres of outstanding natural beauty.


Nancy Stranahan, Director, Arc of Appalachia Preserve System oversaw the campaign’s funding-raising strategies. She also prepared and coaxed along the successfully awarded Clean Ohio grant submission. The entire Arc Board is to be recognized for rapidly adapting to the Arc’s evolving niche in preservation and lending their full support to the campaign.


Brad Lepper, Curator of Archaeology for the Ohio History Connection was inspired so much by the Junction grass roots effort that he featured the campaign in a blog post that went viral afer being circulated to the Ohio History Connection’s vast network, resulting in an enormous amount of publicity and financial support.


Crystal Narayana, Arc Staffer, worked doggedly around the clock to put together an effective and persuasive web campaign, completing in mere days a task that should have taken weeks. At peak activity, Crystal was processing as many as 40 donations an hour, around the clock, as well as providing timely financial updates to the Coalition.


Tom Engberg, Media Specialist with Hopewell Culture National Historical Park was inspired to create an informational video about Junction Earthworks and the movement to save it. Under pressure from the auction’s tight deadline, he put the entire video together in less than one week’s time.The final result, published on YouTube, helped the Junction campaign go viral.


Dave Porter, Arc Staffer, thought he was permanently retied from the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction until Junction siren-called him back into service. With the help and mentoring of Arc colleague Fern Truitt,for four seasons Dave led and trained crews of 6-12 inmates coming out of the Chillicothe Alvis Halfway House daily to clear invasive plants from 100 acres of woods.


Junction’s stewardship is Volunteer Driven. There are MANY people to thank, but the Arc wishes to give special mention to three of our close neighbors, Jim Bambenek, Thomas Walker, and Alan Davis. Alan, thank you for your endless fountain of creative ideas and the will to see them through. Thomas and Jim, thank you for your infinite resourcefulness and your many hours of devoted labor.


Tim Anderson Jr, with his fleet of drones, put Junction “on the map” with his beautiful music-accompanied videos published on You Tube. All of the videos were taken high above Junction.Tim’s films are artistic,soul-moving creations that help the viewers, like so many people before them, fall in love with Junction.The blue pearl of Junction in the photo above demonstrates the power of Tim’s work.


Debra and William Marsh, Philanthropists, had a special heart connection to Junction. Debra’s family moved to Chillicothe in 1967 not far from Junction.She has been in love with the land ever since, which inspired a donation of $35,000 to the campaign. According to Debra, “The gift, and naming Hamilton Woods after her family, honors her parents and their time together in Chillicothe. It’s a way to give back to the parks and preserves that have so greatly enriched Bill and my lives.”


Ann Oliver, Philanthropist, expressed her family connection growing up across from Junction, childhood interest in archaeology, and adult dedication to birding with a critically important $25,000. The gift arrived hours before the auction giving hope that the earthworks, floodplain forest, and steep bluff forest overlooking the earthworks – all of which were being auctioned off separately – could be preserved in perpetuity. Oliver Woods honors her family and provides sanctuary for myriad breeding birds.


Inheritors of Junction. We thank the children of Raymond and Ferne Stark, and their spouses, for facilitating the transfer of the family farm into non-profit hands, a journey that was fraught with anxious deadlines and seemingly endless obstacles. Without the family’s solid commitment, Junction Earthworks Preserve would not be here today. We give special thanks to Catherine and David Stark and their children for accepting us as their new non-profit neighbor with such graciousness, support and warmth!


Barbara Herlihy, Philanthropist, was a reluctant seller of the Junction property, until, that is, she learned the farm might sell to a land preservation organization. Deeply inspired by the prospect, Barbara founded the Junction Earthworks Fund at the Columbus Foundation to help support park operations with greatly needed annual interest income. The fund also honors her mother’s love of the farm and the natural world. Barbara seeded the account with an exceedingly generous $50,000 gift. She invites others to follow her!

Last but not least, we wish to thank the over 1000 Private Households

who donated to Junction, bringing in roughly $350,000 during the short campaign. The campaign proved that Ohio citizens deeply value their American Indian legacies as well as their state’s natural living treasures. Joining the two missions together on a single piece of land, such as what happened at Junction, apparently made the project irresistible.