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October 9, 2013

Faces of Fauquier: He lives and works in a great spot

Cassandra Brown
“I love the outdoors and wide-open spaces,” Tim Skinner says.
if people don’t stay in touch with cultural and national resources, I think as a society we will get lost. It’s good for our health, to stay in touch with nature . . . . I think it is essential that we provided these places for people.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
As the manager of 1,864 state-owned acres of at Sky Meadows State Park between Delaplane and Paris, Tim Skinner lives among pastures, forests and hiking trails with scenic views reminiscent of Scotland.

Mr. Skinner and his wife make their home at Wayside Cottage, built around 1780.

“We like to talk about parks as a miniature city,” Mr. Skinner says. “We have roads, waterways and trails to maintain. We have to conserve and preserve natural resources.”

His hobbies include woodworking, gardening, traveling and tinkering.

• Age

• Home

• Work
Sky Meadows State Park manager for nine years. He oversees activities and maintenance and coordinates educational and historical programs at the park.

• Why you do the job?
Because if people don’t stay in touch with cultural and national resources, I think as a society we will get lost. It’s good for our health, to stay in touch with nature. As our state park director, Joe Elton, would say, “It’s good for our mind, body and spirit.” I think it is essential that we provided these places for people.

• Family
Wife, Kira; four children, Jennie-Mae, 30, Annie, 28, David Perry, 25, and Arabella, 20.

• Education
Graduated from Virginia Tech in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies and a minor in natural resource management. Gradated in 1973 from Lane High School in Charlottesville.

• Civic and/or Church involvement
Currently, I’m in a transition. I was highly involved, but my wife and I are taking a break as empty nesters. But, I am the Shenandoah chapter advisor of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Nine years, since 2004.

• Why do you live here?
Because of my pursuit of my career and passion for parks. The position became open here and it was a great transition to make. I love the outdoors and wide-open spaces. Before that, I worked in the state park administrative offices in Richmond.

• How do you describe this county?
What I love about Fauquier County is its focus on agriculture and the very intelligent folks who are aware of the natural and historic resources — like the Piedmont Environmental Council and Mosby Heritage Area Association. Fauquier has been excellent at keeping spaces, open and it’s an amazing county for its environmental awareness. People out here seem to put a premium on that.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I would want the county to continue to support agricultural plans and controlled development.

• What do you do for fun?
I like to tour. I just got back from Maine and saw my first moose! I have lived all my life in Virginia and I just love it, but I also love to visit different environments like the Florida Everglades. My wife and I love to travel.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I love the high ridge at Sky Meadows in the spring when the trillium and orchids are blooming.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope the county is successful in building out its enterprise zones and preserving its open spaces. I think they have a pretty good plan. If they are successful in doing that and not becoming part of the same, then I see more people visiting and wanting to get back to their roots.

• Favorite TV show?
I really don’t have a favorite TV show, but I enjoy watching football and the History Channel. In the winter months my wife and I have enjoyed watching “The Middle” and “Modern Family.”

• Favorite Movie?
Two of my favorites are “The Princess Bride” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” I also like “El Dorado” starring John Wayne.

• Favorite book?
“On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and “Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness” by Edward Abbey

• Favorite vacation spot?
Every year, at some point for a period of time, I have to recharge on a beach and hear the waves and on a mountaintop.

• Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Swiss chocolate almond

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents, because they successfully conveyed family values, love and caring.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I played the lottery when it first came out, won $2 and never redeemed it. I would buy a track of land in the mountains for my family and future generations, set aside money to maintain it, and then set up trust funds for my kids and grandkids.

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Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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