Properties at Gilberts Corner

Driving west on Rt. 50 in Loudoun County, you may breathe a sigh of relief when you reach the first roundabout at Gilberts Corner. It is a place where the suburban sprawl of Northern Virginia recedes, the pace slows and the beauty of the rural Piedmont’s landscape emerges.

This is no accident. The Piedmont Environmental Council has been working with NOVA Parks for nearly 25 years to permanently protect 340+ acres of land in the special area where Rt. 15 and Rt. 50 meet through conservation easements, while also opening significant parts of it up for the public to use. The results of this award-winning work are evident to anyone driving by and will be for generations to come.

Looking southwest over PEC’s Roundabout Meadows and surrounding properties from Watson Road. Photo by Hugh Kenny/PEC

About PEC at Gilberts Corner

Gilberts Corner uniquely tells stories that arc across America’s history: stories about the leaders, battles, and roads that have helped shape the nation; an entry point to Virginia’s rural Piedmont region, recognized as one of the most scenic and historic landscapes in America; and part of a larger natural environment of fields, forests, and water resources that provide and protect a critical public drinking water supply for Northern Virginia.

In 2013, PEC acquired the 141-acre Roundabout Meadows property at Gilberts Corner as a donation from Roundabout Partners LLC. The acquisition capped two decades of conservation victories to preserve Gilberts Corner as the iconic gateway to the rural northern Piedmont of Virginia. With its highly visible location, Gilberts Corner and Roundabout Meadows offered an extraordinary opportunity to connect the 2 million+ nearby residents of Northern Virginia with the Piedmont’s open spaces.

The area has become an access point to outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation and restoration, local food production in service to others, and historic preservation. It serves to highlight the bounty and beauty of the rural Virginia Piedmont just steps from the residential suburbs of Loudoun County.

Land Management

With the possibilities that come with ownership, PEC has adopted and implemented a land management plan at Gilberts Corner that focuses on public education and civic engagement. The centerpiece is the Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows, which engages volunteers from throughout northern Virginia and the Piedmont to grow fruits and vegetables for donation to food-insecure residents of Loudoun. Launched in 2019, the Community Farm now engages nearly 1,000 volunteers and produces more than 35,000 pounds of healthy food annually.

Approximately 80 acres of the property, on the south side of Howsers Branch, is being managed for livestock grazing. In 2017, livestock exclusion fencing, hardened crossings and alternative drinking water were installed. The result has been significant improvements in water quality. In addition, some areas are being converted to native warm-season grasses, with noticeable increases observed over the past two years. In 2018, the lease for the pastures was modified to encourage rotational grazing.

Another 20 acres in the southeast corner is being managed to demonstrate wildlife habitat restoration. Along with the Old Carolina Road roadbed, this area is accessible for education and passive recreation through a trail designed in collaboration with Oak Spring Foundation, the Fauquier Loudoun Garden Club, and NOVAParks.

Just across the way from Roundabout Meadows, PEC owns and operates a weekend farmers market on 31 acres, which it acquired in 2019.

Learn more about properties owned by PEC