The Piedmont Environmental Council is pleased to announce the winners of its 2021 Annual Photo Contest, in which professional and amateur photographers alike submit their best images of the beautiful Virginia Piedmont, from within Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock counties and the City of Charlottesville.
On the stunningly sunny and crystal clear, crisp morning of Saturday, Nov. 6, just ahead of Veteran’s Day, some 200 people from far and wide came together in rural Culpeper County, Virginia to dedicate a new Civil War memorial site honoring three United States Colored Troops killed nearby in 1864 and the contributions of the family of a free Black man, Willis Madden.
While a national reckoning with the impacts of long-standing Confederate symbolism has brought about the sweeping removal of many Civil War statues across the commonwealth, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, just ahead of Veteran’s Day, a new Civil War monument will rise up in Culpeper County, Virginia. Along Madden’s Tavern Road near the once-booming crossroads of Routes 610 and 724, this granite obelisk will memorialize the ultimate sacrifice of three veterans, United States Colored Troops (USCT) who were captured and executed by 9th Virginia Cavalry troops just 300 yards away on May 8, 1864.
Fauquier County’s second Rappahannock River kayak/canoe launch is now open at the Rector Tract, located at the end of River Road in Remington, giving county residents a new public access point to the state-designated scenic river. The timber-framed, concrete staircase, with a wooden slide for hand-launch of non-motorized vessels, was built over five days last week by Brad Mawyer of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Wes Hale and a crew of staff from Fauquier County Parks and Recreation, Maggi Blomstrom of The Piedmont Environmental Council, and three Fauquier County resident volunteers. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday, Aug. 14 at 12 p.m.
A recent study by The Piedmont Environmental Council and American Farmland Trust, spurred by pandemic-related breakdowns in national and local food supply systems, has led to the development of a new meat-cutter training program to be offered by the Rappahannock Center for Education beginning late fall 2021. Using a national training model, the program is intended to help local meat processors expand their operations and increase their capacity to serve the region’s cattle farmers by building a larger pool of available skilled laborers in the field.
With a $50,000 grant from Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, and additional funding from The Musser Family Fund, Sacharuna Foundation and Culpeper Wellness Foundation, the Piedmont Environmental Council rolls out its summer milk and egg donation program this month, beginning the week of July 12.
The Piedmont Environmental Council is proudly working with multiple community partners to support local farms and farmers, create more public access to outdoor spaces, and support the county’s food insecure population. Some of these initiatives were inspired or amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, while others continue to advance PEC’s core mission of protecting and promoting the Piedmont’s natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty.