Restoring Wildlife Habitat

Restoring Wildlife Habitat

Whether you live in urban, suburban or rural areas, you can make a positive impact on surrounding fish and wildlife populations.  Our web resources are intended to give you the tools to manage your Piedmont lands and waters for greater biodiversity, productivity, and environmental quality.  

Places to Start

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Native Plants & Pollinators

The more native plants in your landscape, the better it is for wildlife.

 
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Aquatic & Riparian Area Restoration

Improving aquatic and riparian areas is a great way to achieve beter water quality and create wildlife habitat. Whether you live on a 1/4 acre parcel or a 100 acre property, there is a lot that you can do to help.

 
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Habitat News, Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Find out what's new related to Wildlife in the Piedmont.

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

Restoring the Piedmont Memorial Overlook

PEC is about half-way through our 3-year habitat restoration project at the Piedmont Memorial Overlook on the border of Clarke and Fauquier Counties. Read More

Teaming Up to Save the "Brookie"

Virginia’s state fish, the eastern brook trout, is in trouble. The Commonwealth’s only native trout has seen a sharp decline in population due to a detrimental combination of rising temper­atures, physical barriers to streamflow, pollution, and habitat loss. Many expect the species to be added to VA’s Wildlife Action Plan list in the near future. Read More

Helping Hands for Spout Run

CLARKE-- Clarke County’s Spout Run watershed has the potential to provide clean water and support a large variety of wildlife species. Yet, the stream is on the State Impaired Waters List due to nutrient and sediment levels from fertilizers, livestock and other human-related activities. This is bad news not only for the wildlife and people living around the watershed, but also for communities downstream—including the Chesapeake Bay. Read More
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Landscaping to Make a Difference

In the Eastern U.S., the crop that takes up the largest acreage isn’t corn, hay, or soybeans—it's mowed lawns.Our manicured lawns have a major impact on our surrounding environment, especially since a majority of modern yards sport non-native grasses and plants. Non-natives often require fertilizers to thrive in this region— chemicals that make their way into our nearby watersheds. Then there’s the desire to have perfectly green, clipped grass—meaning today’s lawns can require of a lot of water and gasoline. Read More
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Plant Invaders--and how you can defend natural diversity on your land

Speakers at a daylong workshop on fighting invasive plants presented a wide variety of perspectives, including: why bother? Read More

More Restoring Wildlife Habitat

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    Oct 23, 2013

    Thumb Run Wildlife Habitat Corridor Project

    In June 2012, PEC received a grant from The Volgenau Foundation to improve wildlife habitat in the northwestern region of Fauquier County. This project area is geographically defined by the lower Thumb Run watershed; all water in the region drains into Thumb Run and eventually the Rappahannock River. Wildlife habitat improvement goals for this project align with state priority wildlife species including: early successional song birds, pollinators, fresh water aquatic species such as mussels, amphibians, and more. Improving the connectivity of habitat “corridors” such as riparian buffers is a key focus of the project. Habitat practices that have other environmental benefits such as improved water quality are also of high priority. Get involved! Read More
  • Oct 16, 2013

    Go Native Go Local

    PEC is pleased to release the inaugural edition of our Go Native Go Local guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide the residents of the Virginia Piedmont with a listing of businesses, most of them local, that offer products and services which promote our native biodiversity. Go Native Go Local aims to strengthen the local economy and is a sister publication to PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local guide. If you use this guide, please let the business know that PEC sent you! For more information on the guide, contact (540) 347-2334 or by emailing gonative@pecva.org. View excerpts from the 2013 guide below or view the revised 2014 PDF >> 2013 Go Native Go Local Guide -- Excerpts from The Piedmont Environmental Council Read More
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    Sep 20, 2013

    Fall !

    This is my kind of weather! Red maples turn their namesake, broad wing hawks and other raptor migrate south, white-tailed deer enter the rut, and so many more fun things. Speaking of deer, here's a copy of a recent article I wrote on deer abundance and wildlife habitat. This text was taken from an email sent out on September 20th, 2013: Read More
  • Sep 09, 2013

    Oh Deer!

    Fall is a busy time for wildlife in the Piedmont, particularly for mammals as they rush to prepare for the coming winter – storing food caches, finding mates, and burrowing den sites. During this time, white-tailed deer enter “the rut”: hormones rage, antlers grow, and males seek out females. Historically, it’s this time of year when you’re most likely to see deer, especially as bucks pursue does and the does play coy. Today, however, you are very likely to encounter deer any time of year -- not just during the rut. Read More
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    Jun 06, 2013

    A Season Full of Activity

    I hope you’re enjoying the delightfully cool spring. Personally, I’ll take all the cool weather I can get before the dog days of summer hit. Any cicadas in your neck of the woods? We'll see if the cool weather means that Brood 2 Cicadas will persist longer than usual. Check out this wonderful video on the life cycle of these fascinating creatures. This text was taken from an email sent out on June 6th, 2013: Read More
  • Jun 06, 2013

    Lyme Disease

    In a departure from my normal column on creating habitat, here is some knowledge on ticks ecology and preventative measures from the perspective of an ecologist who spends a lot of time outside. With a little education and forethought, you and your family can better enjoy the outdoors all season long. First – a word of warning: I’m not a health professional by training, so always consult your doctor if you have health concerns. Read More
  • Mar 20, 2013

    Awards for Community & School Gardens

    Does your school have a garden? Do you know of a fun community garden? Help The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) recognize community and school gardens throughout the northern Piedmont by letting us know about great community or school gardens in your area. The purpose of this friendly competition is to recognize gardens that celebrate the relationship between nature, food and community, by awarding six currently active school and/or community gardens with cash awards. PEC will make up to three $300 awards and up to three $500 awards. Read More
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    Mar 15, 2013

    Building a Home for Wildlife: Houses, Nests, & More

    Just like humans, wildlife species have four primary needs to survive: food, water, shelter and space. These four components form the basis of wildlife habitat, and each species fulfills these needs differently. Yet, for all species, if one of these four components is missing in a given area, it can affect the species’ population. In this article, I’ll be focusing on one of these needs – cover (the wildlife term for “shelter”) -- and what are potential solutions when it’s a limiting factor in an environment. Specifically, how we can use man-made cover to help out wildlife. Read More
  • Dec 17, 2012

    Presentations from the November 2012 Invasive Plant Symposium

    Our November 2012 Invasive Plant Symposium was a great success! Over 140 people attended this event in Middleburg, co-sponsored by PEC, Sacharuna Foundation, Virginia Working Landscapes, and United Plants Savers. Read More
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    Oct 15, 2012

    Invasive Plants: Why Bother?

    (this article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of The Piedmont Virginian )When I work with landowners on how they can better manage their properties for wildlife habitat, many common questions concern invasive plants. These questions include: “What is that weird, abundant vine/shrub/tree/pond muck? And how do I get rid of it?” Other times, it’s: “Do I need to worry about plant X?” or “Why bother?” Read More
  • Jul 13, 2012

    Presentations from the May 2012 Invasive Plant Workshop

    The following presentations were given at a May 2012 Invasive Plant Workshop co-sponsored by PEC, Sacharuna Foundation, Virginia Working Landscapes, and United Plants Savers. Read More
  • Jun 27, 2012

    Black Bear Management Plan Open for Public Comment

    The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has opened the 10-year Black Bear Management Plan for public comment until Aug 1, 2012. Black bears are Virginia's only bear, and they're increasingly common in the Piedmont. This plan will dictate how bears are managed in our region.Black bears are generally docile and rarely pose a threat to humans. They are typically very shy and avoid human contact. An exception is when they become accustomed to eating food from garbage cans and bird feeders. If you live in an area with bears, take that feeder down from April to Dec and be sure to keep your trash cans secure. Read More
  • May 18, 2012

    Better Habitat: Water, Woods and Beyond

    Learn about Wildlife Habitat in the Virginia Piedmont -- what it is, why we care, what a landowner can do to improve it. The following PowerPoint presentations were given to members of the Orange County Hunt in March, 2012. Better Wildlife Habitat: Water, Woods and Beyond Early Successional HabitatView more presentations from Piedmont Environmental Council Read More
  • Apr 27, 2012

    The History & Habitat of Amphibians

    PEC's Sustainable Habitat Program Manager, James Barnes, wrote this article about our region's amphibians for the Spring 2012 issue of The Piedmont Virginian... Read More
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    Jan 30, 2012

    Enhancing Habitat for Birds

    Check out the Bird Habitat Guide to learn how you can enhance bird habitat in your backyard. The Piedmont is home to over 140 species of birds that breed in the area, but many of these bird populations have declined in recent decades due to loss of habitat and degradation. PEC recently teamed up with the American Bird Conservancy to produce a Bird Habitat Guide that offers tips on how you can enhance bird and wildlife habitat on your property. Whether you have a large farm or small backyard, you can help a variety of birds to thrive through simple changes such as leaving a fence row to grow unkempt or allowing part of your yard to grow up in native grasses rather than mowing. Read More
  • Jan 30, 2012

    Web Resources for Creating Habitat

    Helpful links related to creating habitat, particularly backyard habitats: Read More

Find Funding

Search our database for potential funding sources for on-the-ground conservation measures.

Find Native Plants

View a list of potential suppliers of native plants, trees and seeds.

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