Virginia Kersey Papers

Identifier: 94-22
The papers have been subdivided into four series, corresponding to park boards and commissions on which Kersey served: the Nevada State Parks Advisory Commission, the Nevada State Multiple Use Advisory Committee on Federal Lands, the Citizens for Parks and Trails 2000, and Rancho San Rafael Park.

This collection provides an overview of the philosophies and development of Nevada parks and recreational facilities during the 1980s and early 1990s, on both the regional and statewide level. The bulk of the first series consists of records of the Nevada State Parks Advisory Commission, including minutes of Commission meetings and memorandums from the administrator of the Division of State Parks. Planning for statewide programs is well documented, especially those files affiliated with "Question 5" which appeared on the November, 1990 general election ballot. This parks and wildlife bond issue passed with 66% of the statewide vote, and specified the use of funds for property acquisition, facilities development, and feasibility/master plan studies. The Commission also oversaw the administration of grant selection for Nevada's recreational trails program with funding from federal legislation (the Symms National Recreational Trails Act). Applications from all over the state were received, including one for a Steamboat Ditch model trail.

The State Multiple Use Advisory Committee on Federal Lands considered various uses of federal lands in Nevada, including mining, forestry, nuclear waste dumping, federal land exchanges, recreation, grazing, and wilderness designation. The series includes a list of Advisory Committee recommendations for 1987-1992, minutes, memos, and studies of special issues such as the Florida/Nevada Aerojet land exchange and the proposed Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.

Material in the series representing Citizens for Parks and Trails 2000 is fairly complete and includes working records documenting goals, objectives and methodology of the committee. According to Kersey, a few items were given to those people who were later instrumental in passage of the State Parks and Wildlife Bond issue. Draft copies and final plans as approved by the County Commissioners are included.

The files related to Rancho San Rafael (RSR) Park include minutes of the Citizens for RSR [Committee], planning documents, and master plan materials. Some records of the original RSR Masterplan Steering Committee, of which Kersey was chair, were given to the Washoe County Parks Department to be retained by the Parks Department (as have Kersey's records of her service on the Washoe County Parks Commission). Some of Kersey's RSR files are presently held by Dr. Elmer Rusco and will be added to this collection at a later time.


  • 1981-1993



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


2.5 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)


This collection documents Kersey's involvement in state and regional planning for and funding of parks and recreational facilities in Nevada. Included are agendas, minutes, master plans, strategic plans, and reports for the Nevada State Parks Advisory Commission, Nevada State Multiple Use Advisory Committee on Federal Lands, Citizens for Parks and Trails 2000, Citizens for Rancho San Rafael, and the Rancho San Rafael Steering Committee.

Biographical Note

Virginia (Ginnie) Kersey retired as a budget officer of the Planning, Budget and Analysis Division of the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1992. She has a long record of community involvement, especially in parks and recreational planning, both on the local level and statewide.

Kersey served two terms on the Washoe County Parks Commission from 1979-1987 and as chair for two and one-half years. She was a member of the Nevada State Parks Advisory Commission from 1985 until 1993, when the Commission was disbanded. She served as both vice chair and chair of the Commission.

Kersey represented the State Parks Commission's interests on the State Multiple Use Advisory Committee on Federal Lands from 1987 to 1993, when it was disbanded.

Rancho San Rafael was a large ranch in northwest Reno owned by Wilbur D. May. After May's death it was acquired by Washoe County which began planning for the park's development. Kersey served on two steering committees to make master plan recommendations for park development and financing.

One other organization in which Kersey played an active role was the Citizens for Parks and Trails 2000. Kersey and Eric Cronkhite as co-chairs lead this citizens' committee in developing a county-wide regional recreation facilities and trails master plan for the Board of County Commissioners. The result, a proposed Washoe County Regional Trail System, would have developed three regional parks and a system of trails to connect the whole Truckee Meadows and ultimately provide access to the Tahoe Rim and Pacific Crest Trails. Financing was to come from a $15 million bond issue (Question 10) placed on the November, 1988 county ballot but the issue was defeated by the voters.


The papers of Virginia Kersey have been arranged into the following series:

I. Nevada State Parks Advisory Commission

II. Nevada State Multiple Use Advisory Committee on Federal Lands

III. Citizens for Parks and Trails 2000

IV. Rancho San Rafael Park

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Virginia Kersey in 1994.

A Part of

Nevada women's archives.


A Guide to the Virginia Kersey Papers
Susan Searcy
June 10, 1994
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)