Another year has passed, and the holiday season is upon us once again. This is a time to celebrate and contemplate all that we have to be thankful for. Many of us have numerous blessings to count, but one that we all share is the Virginia Piedmont—this beautiful region that we call home. The Piedmont’s splendid natural settings, together with its distinctive towns and cities, make it a truly wonderful place to live, work and visit.
After reading the articles in this issue of The Piedmont View, it should be clear that this sense of place is no accident. Rather, the Piedmont has remained a wonderful place due to the diligence and hard work of PEC, partner organizations, and individual residents.
PEC was formed in 1972 by a group of concerned citizens—people who loved the Piedmont and knew it needed to be protected. Now one of the most effective community-based environmental groups in the country, PEC works with the citizens of our nine-county region to conserve land, create high-quality communities, strengthen rural economies, celebrate historic resources, protect air and water quality, build smart transportation networks, promote sustainable energy choices, restore wildlife habitat, and improve people’s access to nature.
Growth is inevitable, but thanks to PEC and our collaborative work, the Piedmont has managed this growth more successfully than most places in America; all the while protecting and enhancing its historic and natural landscapes. PEC has been a leader— empowering citizens to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place and encouraging them to pursue a positive vision for the region’s future. We can confidently say that things are much better today than they would have been if PEC had not been formed 40 years ago.
However, we can say with an equal confidence that PEC would not be around without people like you. PEC was not only founded by citizens, but we have only been able to continue this important work for all of these years because of the sustained support of the Piedmont’s residents.
So, on behalf of PEC’s Board and staff—on behalf of the Piedmont’s future generations—I would like to say, “Thank you.” We appreciate and are humbled by the incredible investment that so many of you have made for the future of this region. Whether it be your donations, your time, or simply helping us get the word out—we count it as one of our many blessings.
Together, we have come this far and have accomplished so much. Our challenge now is to hold on to those successes in the face of a new generation of speculators, visitors, and public officials who want to capitalize the value that we have all helped protect and create.
Our work is not done. PEC has worked tirelessly to protect the Piedmont over the last 40 years, and we will need your continued support to carry this work into the future.
Chris Miller, President