Clean Water

Water flows through all of our land. To keep it plentiful and safe for drinking, swimming and fishing, we need clean air, expansive forests, responsible farms, wooded stream banks, and communities and individuals who make choices to avoid pollution.

On the Ground Updates – December 2020

On the Ground Updates – December 2020

A series of short updates from around the PEC region – Albemarle & Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange & Rappahannock.

George Mason University students to survey Roundabout Meadows vegetation

George Mason University students to survey Roundabout Meadows vegetation

George Mason University plant ecology students are helping The Piedmont Environmental Council measure the success of our wetlands restoration effort at Roundabout Meadows. With a grant from the Virginia Native Plant Society, the students are establishing a baseline dataset by collecting and identifying all plant species there.

Scenic Rivers in the Piedmont – A StoryMap

Scenic Rivers in the Piedmont – A StoryMap

In 2020, the state of Virginia commemorates 50 years of dedication and commitment to the conservation of Virginia’s water resources through the Virginia Scenic Rivers Program. In honor of that anniversary, PEC Fellowship program participants, Meredith Hickman and David Malcolm, created a StoryMap that celebrates the ten designated scenic rivers in The Piedmont Environmental Council’s region.

Capturing the Rain: Green Infrastructure Options for HOA Common Areas

Capturing the Rain: Green Infrastructure Options for HOA Common Areas

Many residents frequent common areas that are managed by homeowners associations, churches, or local governments. How these entities manage their public landscapes can have a profound effect on the health of our local ecosystems, wildlife, streams and drinking water sources. HOA’s in particular have a significant amount of common area that is often just mowed grass.

So Many Bills, So Little Time

It is March, a time when most people eagerly await the end of winter and embrace the first signs of spring. For me, the spring also marks the end of long days and nights spent walking the halls and occupying committee rooms in Richmond. The 2020 Virginia General Assembly session concluded on March 12, and by the time you read this, we will all be awaiting Governor Northam’s response to the legislation and budget passed by both houses.

Fronting the Costs: Fencing at Mountain Hollow Farm

Eight generations of cattle farming had taken its toll on the streams at Dean and Carina Elgin’s Mountain Hollow Farm in northern Fauquier County. Historically, “all the cattle had access to the creek. That was our watering system. And that was the norm in that day,” Dean Elgin said. But by 2015, the Elgins wanted to repair the streambank erosion and reduce the water pollution caused by the foot traffic and waste generated by 200 cattle moving in and out of the water repeatedly. But there was a problem.

What will tomorrow bring?

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This year’s Virginia General Assembly promises to be an interesting one, as the November 2019 elections resulted in a change in leadership in both the House and the Senate. A new Speaker of the House (Filler-Corn), Senate Majority Leader (Saslaw) and large shifts in committee memberships of both bodies are among the changes. With Governor Northam still in office, the Democrats have consolidated control of state government for the first time in more than two decades. And that means we will see many of the priorities of the party at the forefront of the legislative agenda.

A Fish Runs Through It

As the fog broke on a brisk November morning in Madison County, more than three dozen people arrived at the Whiteoak Canyon trailhead ready to celebrate the new, 35-foot, open-span bridge over Cedar Run. They marveled at the sounds of water bubbling over the rocky streambed from the north side of the bridge to the south. Many walked upright beneath the sturdy, brown, steel-framed structure. And all excitedly searched the deep pools for our guests of honor—the native brook trout, a species of concern on Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.