Thriving Communities


PEC believes that the work of protecting natural resources and the work of building better communities are integral to each other.


Local Planning Resources

Important concepts related to community planning in Virginia.


From the Piedmont View

The following articles appeared in PEC's Membership Newsletter -- The Piedmont View

On the Ground

Sep 15, 2014
Read On the Ground updates for Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties.

Letter from the President- Fall 2014 Edition

Sep 15, 2014
One of the important characteristics of PEC is that we are relevant. Our mission, our programs, our actions, and our words are taken seriously, both within our communities and by theoutside world. And even though PEC gets the most attention for our stances in oppositionto questionable or poorly conceived projects such as the Dominion Transmission Line projector the Charlottesville Western Bypass, the reality is that the bulk of our work is proactive and positive in nature, and it matters

Farmer-Chef Express

Sep 15, 2014
The Piedmont Environmental Council is always looking for ways to strengthen our local food economy. After a lot of brain­storming, developing and website testing, Farmer-Chef Express was launched this past August!

This is Big!

Sep 15, 2014
The opening of the Silver Line this past July was an important step toward a better future for the Washington metropolitan region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. For decades, Tysons has been an example of 20th century development, urban and suburban areas that don’t quite work—too many cars, no sidewalks and not enough green space.

Explore Warrenton Trails

Sep 15, 2014
See a map with Warrenton's trails, and find out where to view additional trail maps in Fauquier County.

Area Residents Give to Greenway Expansion

Jun 17, 2014
Give Local Piedmont was a community-wide online giving challenge that sought to inspire folks to make donations of $10 or more to local nonprofits for 24 hours on May 6. Part of a national campaign, Give Local Piedmont supported the effort for Cul­peper, Fauquier, Madison and Rappahannock Counties. And the good news is—it worked!

Released: For the Love of the Land

Mar 23, 2014
From the coast to the mountains, many landowners have been tending to their properties in Virginia for generations, carefully sustaining its resources and passing them on. In an effort to honor and highlight conservation efforts in our state, PEC has released For the Love of the Land: 100 Conservation Stories from Across Virginia.

More Thriving Communities

  • Dec 05, 2014

    The Outpost to donate proceeds of December 2014 sales to PEC

    From December 6 -- through December 23, 2014, The Outpost will have a backroom of unique finds that are marked half off, and 100% of the proceeds from this room will be donated to The Piedmont Environmental Council! Read More
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    Oct 04, 2013

    20 Years Since Disney

    It’s been twenty years since Disney proposed a historic theme park at the foothills of the Bull Run Mountains near Thoroughfare Gap. The Piedmont Environmental Council, led by Amb. Charlie Whitehouse, was a small organization at the time, but stepped up and helped spearhead a David vs. Goliath campaign that drew intense national attention. On October 12th, join us at Historic Galemont Farm in The Plains, as we reflect on what’s happened in the years since Disney, present workshops that fit today, hear from Keynote Speaker Hedrick Smith and discuss what the next twenty years will hold. This text was taken from an email alert sent out on October 2nd, 2013. Read More
  • Sep 19, 2013

    October 12th: PEC's Meeting at Galemont

    UPDATE: Due to the rain, we've decided to move our meeting from historic Galemont in The Plains to an indoor venue located in Warrenton -- the Stone Ridge Conference Center on Route 29 just north of Warrenton (directions). We'll be emailing and calling everyone who has pre-registered! If you're planning on registering on-site, we'll see you in Warrenton! Read More
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    Apr 04, 2013

    Nature's Extravaganza!

    It might be hard to believe with daffodils and pansies struggling to stand tall in the snow just last week, but we have it on good authority that spring really will be with us soon. Plan now to enjoy two great natural spectacles -- brilliant bluebells and amazing azaleas. Shake off the winter doldrums and celebrate the return of spring in the Piedmont. This text is from an email alert that was sent out on March 2nd, 2013. Read More
  • Oct 16, 2012

    Natural Assets Planning Workshops

    Evaluating and Conserving Natural Assets: Maximizing conservation potential in the developing landscape for abundant recreation, clean water, clean air, wildlife, beautiful vistas, and strong economies. This is a hands-on planning and mapping workshop for local governments, conservation groups, land trusts, and developers who want to create communities that are healthy both ecologically and economically! This workshop will demonstrate how to use readily available tools to evaluate your locality or development plan to ensure that you have the best strategy possible for creating a resilient community. You will learn practical methods for using the best data to determine when, where and how to grow while still having a vibrant, green and beautiful community. Read More
  • Aug 03, 2012

    Painters of the Piedmont: PEC's 40th Anniversary Art Show

    A traveling exhibition featuring the work of 11 leading artists living and working in the Virginia Piedmont region.The Piedmont Environmental Council is proud to bring together eleven of the leading artists working in the Virginia Piedmont region. The thirty works of art chosen for exhibition will highlight a cross section of artists who by their creativity and ability make us all aware of the abundant resources of the region. These artists work in various mediums and approach their art in different ways, but all share a sense of place that is the Virginia Piedmont. All of the artwork is for sale and proceeds will benefit the 40th Anniversary Fund of PEC—making possible new outreach initiatives. Read More
  • Jan 23, 2012

    PEC Welcomes Best-Selling Author Richard Louv

    As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, The Piedmont Environmental Council is excited to bring Richard Louv, best-selling author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, to the Piedmont —sparking ideas to help people and nature reconnect. See Richard Louv in Leesburg on Mar 14 See Richard Louv in Charlottesville on Mar 15 Tickets are $12 per adult and $8 per student and can be purchased online. Read More
  • Dec 14, 2011

    Controlling the Costs of Growth

    Uncontrolled growth can cause taxes to skyrocket, but with good planning and the use of proffers and other tools, communities can accommodate growth without a budget crisis. Read More
  • Dec 14, 2011

    Better Comprehensive Planning

    Every locality in Virginia must express its goals in a Comprehensive Plan, a twenty-year vision which must be reviewed and/or revised every five years. These documents are of foundational importance for communities that wish to shape their own future. Read More