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U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Michael L. Brooks, Marine Corps Quantico Base Commander, addresses the crowd about the importance of the Bluebell Festival on the Merrimac Farms, Nokesville, Virginia on April 7, 2024. Bluebell flowers are unique in that they only grow on floodplains, plus, the flowers glow blue when observed from a distance in the sunlight. The flowers only bloom for a few weeks in the very early springtime and then die off, leaves and all, so that you would never know they were present in the first place. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Keahi J. Soomanstanton)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Keahi Soomanstanton

Base commander connects with community at 2024 Bluebell Festival

10 Apr 2024 | Lance Cpl. Ethan Miller and Lance Cpl. Jeffery Stevens Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The base commander, Col. Michael L. Brooks, and his staff made an appearance at the annual Bluebell Festival in Nokesville, Virginia, April 7.

“Every year, we throw a festival together to bring awareness to the community about conservation,” Brooks said. “We invite a lot of conservationists to join the festivities, and they help teach the community about what’s growing in their back yard.”

The festival, open to the public and marked by blooming bluebell flowers, announces the beginning of the spring season. The flowers spread across the land, lining the Cedar Run shoreline for nearly a mile, of which guests can explore on a guided tour by local experts.

“This event celebrates the bloom of the Virginia bluebell but also celebrates partnership Marine Corps Base Quantico,” said Ashley Studholme, the executive director of the Prince William Conservation Alliance.

With this partnership the base has with them and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the base helped conserve about 302 acres of land by purchasing Mirramac Farms.

“Not only does that help conserve the land,” Brooks said, “but it also provides a buffer between the base and the community.”

This year marks the third and last year Brooks will attend Bluebell Festival as the base commander; although, he his successor will continue the partnerships.

“This partnership will endure forever,” he said confidently.

Marine Corps Base Quantico