Walker Mountain Grotto is based in Marion, Virginia and was formally founded on February 19, 2013 with the adoption of a constitution and a set of bylaws. The grotto was recognized as an official internal organization of the National Speleological Society (NSS) in June of 2013.
It was decided to locate the grotto in Marion, VA since this location was central to most founding members and is roughly halfway between Bristol, TN and Blacksburg, VA, homes of the nearest organized caving groups. The name “Walker Mountain Grotto” was chosen because of Walker Mountain’s relative proximity to Marion, VA, the locus of the Walker Mountain Grotto’s proposed service region and because it is the dominant geographic feature of the region (it reaches almost the entire length of the area between the VPI Cave Club in Blacksburg and Bristol, TN, home of the Mountain Empire Grotto.)
As a chapter of the NSS, the purposes of the grotto are the same as those of the National Speleological Society, with the additional purpose of organizing NSS members in the southwestern region of Virginia lying south the New River to better promote the objectives of the NSS. Our main objectives are to provide an introduction to safe caving practices for new members, to promote conservation of cave resources, and to increase knowledge of local caves through our survey projects, as well as to provide educational and outreach programs for the community at large.
Grotto meetings are held on the third Tuesday of most months in various locations between Abingdon and Wytheville. If you are interested in coming to meeting or would like more information, use the Contact Us link to contact an officer.
- President: Jason Lachniet
- Vice-president: Bill Grose
- Treasurer: Tanya McLaughlin
- Secretary: Wendy Grose
- Director-At-Large: Kevin Austin