The Piedmont View

Summer 2016 Piedmont View

The 2016 summer edition of the Piedmont View features a farewell note to long-time PEC Vice President Doug Larson, lots of photos of spring events, an update on Solarize Piedmont, news of a Virginia "Treasures" award at the Montpelier-Grelen trail, and much more. You can read individual articles online or view a PDF for the entire issue.

...As Doug plans for his retirement in July, I reflect on what an honor it has been to work with him through the years. We all know Doug as hard-working, passionate, funny and fearless. We also know him as the man who wears the best crazy socks.

He has been my boss for the majority of his time at PEC, but most importantly, he has been my friend. He never asked staff to do anything that he wouldn’t do, always standing and working beside us to see an event or project through to the end. He always encouraged us to grow our interest and ideas into projects that may align with PEC’s mission, while igniting our excitement that we too are helping make a difference...

A brilliant communicator, Mr. Backer created iconic advertising campaigns such as the 1971 “Hilltop” commercial for Coca Cola featuring his jingle “I’d like to Teach the World to Sing,” “Tastes Great, Less Filling” and “MillerTime” for Miller Lite, and “Soup is good food” for Campbell.

Mr. Backer’s long engagement with PEC took on national stature during a 1993-1994 debate over the Disney’s America development proposal near Haymarket, Virginia. He encouraged PEC to focus its message on the viability of alternative locations for a theme park in the Washington metropolitan area that would have less impact on the region’s traffic, air quality, and history, and avoid the sprawling development that resulted from other Disney projects.

Find out some of the 'On the Ground' highlights from around PEC's region.

  • Albemarle: Key Parkland Purchase, Historic Bridge at Risk
  • Clarke: River and Roots Festival
  • Culpeper: Working with Partners to Create a New Park
  • Fauquier: Help Shape the Future of Fauquier
  • Greene: Landowners Learn About Land Conservation and Land Management
  • Loudoun: Planning Underway for Loudoun's Future
  • Madison: Helping Native Brook Trout Habitat
  • Orange: Gordonsville Renaissance
  • Rappahannock: Working with Shenandoah National Park

A large herd of fluffy, yet still intimidating, sheep run full speed through a gate as they’re rotated to an alternate pasture at Over Jordan Farm in Flint Hill, Va.

“I don’t use herding dogs. The animals are trained to come to me and follow me,” says farm manager and Bean Hollow Grassfed owner Mike Sands, who has over 30 years of experience in sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and community-based economic development.....

Part of a nine-mile trail system with old-growth forests and meadows, the Montpelier-Grelen Trail links the historic James Madison’s Montpelier with Grelen Nursery, a 25-year-old working tree nursery in Orange County. On April 19, the Trail was officially designated as a “Virginia Treasure” by the Office of the Governor for being an outstanding recreational asset open to the public in the Commonwealth. Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Molly Ward presented the award to Kat Imhoff, President and CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier, Dan and Leslie Gregg, Co-owners of Grelen Nursery, and Chris Miller, President of The Piedmont Environmental Council.

“Montpelier, the historic home of James and Dolley Madison, is such an important site in the story of our Commonwealth and our Nation. The MontpelierGrelen Connector Trail allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of those who lived, worked on, and visited this site over the last several hundred years,” said First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe....

We are mourning the loss of Bill Backer, long-time PEC supporter and Piedmont Foundation President, who passed away on May 13, 2016. An advertising genius who taught the “world to sing” when he created the 1971 “Hilltop” commercial for Coca-Cola—what many consider to be the most famous commercial ever.

Bill loved the Piedmont and chose to make Fauquier County his permanent home in 1994. I’ve known Bill for over 20 years. He was a man of incredible intellect and insight into the human spirit...

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