The Pickett Reservoir
lies before you. This 384 acre impoundment was formed in 1942 by the United States Army in conjunction with the creation of Camp Pickett. Along with being a military training area, this reservoir provides drinking water to the Town of Blackstone and Fort Pickett and is primarily formed by the confluence of the Little Nottoway River, the Nottoway River, Crooked Creek, and Cedar Creek. Late 19th- and early 20th-century maps show the Reservoir area as a marsh.
The Reservoir intake is at the dam and bridge structure carrying Route 46, also built in 1942. Historically a crossing known as Kennedy's Bridge stood at this location; the modern-day bridge is known as Kennedy Bridge.
The Nottoway River Watershed
upstream from where you are standing (to the west) encompasses 230 square miles (147,000 acres) and extends to the towns of Burkeville, Crewe, Blackstone, Kenbridge, Victoria and the unincorporated communities of Dundas and Green Bay. The majority of this landcover is forested. Forests play an important role in regulating water quality and other components of the ecosystem. Everyone in the watershed shares a part in keeping it healthy. Being good stewards of the land through approved forestry and farming practices helps maintain a healthy ecosystem. This in turn helps to ensure
that the ecosystem services provided (lumber products, food, clean air and water, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and scenic vistas are sustained and available for future generations. The map below shows the watershed west of Fort Pickett shaded in brown.
The Pickett Reservoir recreational area provides boat access to the lake as well as picnic facilities. The trail along the bank can be accessed down the steps in front of you or over by the pavilion. The fence is installed for safety and to prevent erosion caused by foot traffic along the steep bank. The green boxes set on the poles along the fence are bat houses. Bats in this area primarily eat nocturnal insects and a single bat can consume hundreds of mosquito-sized insects in one hour. Some of these bat species include Big Brown Bat, Little Brown Bat, Eastern Red Bat, Evening Bat, and Eastern Pipistrelle. The trees planted along the back side of the fence are native species that were chosen to benefit pollinators in particular. They include American holly, white fringetree, and serviceberry. Highbush blueberry is also planted along the fence. These latest improvements to the site were made possible by a NPLD grant in 2014 along with volunteer assistance from the community. Please enjoy the site and be respectful of the facilities provided.
National Public Lands Day.
The Department of Defense
Marker is out of frame on the right. Boat ramp and parking is out of frame on the left.(DoD) Legacy Resource Management Program provides funds to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) for National Public Lands Day (NPLD) projects on military lands open to the public for recreation. Some of the improvements to this site are made possible by DoD Legacy funds through National Public Lands Day Projects.
National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.
NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands. It builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; and it improves public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on-work.