The Piedmont Environmental Council reports a total of 408,939 acres have been protected in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties by landowners working together with land trusts and public agencies. The total includes 7,739 acres added in 2018.
Drawing over 150 attendees, PEC held their Annual Meeting on October 21 at historic Castle Hill Farm in Keswick. First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam was in attendance and spoke about the importance of conserving lands in the state. Following the First Lady’s remarks, keynote speaker Charles Marohn, President and Founder of Strong Towns, delivered the keynote address.
This summer, in an effort to preserve the prime farmland and help ensure continued operations, the Nixons chose to permanently protect 382 acres of their land through a conservation easement with the Piedmont Environmental Council, Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
With the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors scheduled to vote on a first phase widening of Route 15 for 3.6 miles north of Leesburg, a coalition of smart growth, conservation and preservation groups and numerous local residents are pressing the Board to instead adopt an approach that is safer, cheaper and more effective.
The Piedmont Environmental Council worked with Ms. Tieken to put 669 acres of her property under conservation easement at the close of 2017. Down the road from James Madison’s Montpelier, the farm is located within the Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District and has over a mile of frontage on Constitution Highway. The district, known to have well-drained soils, rolling terrain and a mix of agricultural and forest land, now has a total of 14,645 acres conserved.
Data compiled by The Piedmont Environmental Council shows a total of 401,200 acres have been protected in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties by landowners working together with land trusts and public agencies. The total includes 6,237 acres added in 2017.
Shenandoah National Park just grew a little bigger and a little more beautiful. This past May, The Piedmont Environmental Council donated a 17.2-acre property it owned in Rappahannock County to the National Park Service. A forested and vacant parcel on a mountain slope south of Sperryville, Virginia, the land is within the legislative boundary of Shenandoah National Park.
The Piedmont Environmental Council
Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator
434-977-2033 ext. 24
Restoring Local Food Systems — An educational seminar series in Charlottesville
Though the local food movement has picked up momentum in our region, there are still a number of challenges that local food producers and distributors face as they try to create a sustainable local food economy. Last January, The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) hosted a work session for their Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters in Charlottesville, Loudoun, and the Northern Piedmont. The goal was to provide a space in which local food providers could bring up a topic of interest, meet others who are interested in a similar issue, and then take part in constructive conversations and strategic planning centered around a plan of action.
Bill Calvani and KeriAn Dodson of Charlottesville’s Rebecca’s Natural Food attended PEC’s workshop session, and they teamed up with John Whiteside of Wolf Creek Farm and Susan Vidal of Brightwood Vineyard & Farm. Their plan focused on how to better educate consumers about the local food system, and they are turning words into action. The group is organizing a seminar series at Rebecca’s that will start July 10th. The objective of their “Restoring Local Food Systems” series is to have local producers, processors and experts share their experiences in preserving and rebuilding their portion of the local food system.
“In an area rich with local and artisanal food production, we’re thrilled to play a part in bringing consumers and producers together to exchange information,” says Calvani, Rebecca’s Grocery Manager. “We think it’s important to close the loop in local buying. This series will not only help people understand where our food comes from, but also the work that our producers do to bring us honest food. We hope this series will inspire people and help renew the commitment to buy local.”
The Series Schedule:
Wednesday, July 10th, 6:30-7:30PM:
Agricultural Landscape of the Piedmont
Sue Ellen Johnson, Piedmont Environmental Council
Tuesday, July 30th, 6:30-7:30PM:
Brewing Culture: How to Make Kombucha
Ethan Zuckerman, Barefoot Bucha
Tuesday, August 6th. 6:30-7:30PM:
Farming with Fungal Allies (Mushrooms!)
Mark Jones, Sharondale Farm
Wednesday, August 21, 6:30-7:30PM:
The Big Picture of a Small Farm
Erica Hellen, Free Union Grass Farm
Tuesday, September 10th, 6:30-7:30PM:
Local Food–Getting Your Money’s Worth
Susan & Dean Vidal, Brightwood Vineyards & Farm
Thursday, September 19th, 6:30-7:30PM:
Our Kitchen is Your Kitchen: Local Resources for Food Processing and Packing
Allie Hill, Virginia Food Works
All talks will be held at Rebecca’s Natural Food in the Barracks Road Shopping Center (1141 Emmet Street, Charlottesville, VA). Check the www.BuyLocalVirginia.org events page, Rebecca’s Natural Food Facebook page, or PEC’s Buy Fresh Buy Local Facebook page for more information.