Native Plants & Pollinators

The more native plants in your landscape, the better it is for wildlife.

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.

The Little Park that Could

The Little Park that Could

Along the Rush River in the town of Washington, just a few miles east of the Shenandoah National Park, the 7.3-acre Rappahannock County Park is best known by locals for its pirate-ship playground, skate park, tennis courts, and picnic area. But, it has also come into focus recently for its natural beauty.

July at the Piedmont Memorial Overlook

The native flower meadow our Piedmont Memorial Overlook property is almost at peak bloom!

This 50-acre property, which has one of the best views in Northern Virginia, is publicly accessible via Sky Meadows State Park. It’s a one-way 1.6-mile hike there via the Ambassador Whitehouse Trail, but many people make it a 4.6-mile loop that includes a stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

President’s Letter – Spring 2020

Rumor has it, the idea for Earth Day was first announced at the Airlie Conference Center in Fauquier County, spurring a national and international movement to make the environment a major focus. That was 1969, and today, 50 years later, much progress has been made on those initial concerns about air and water pollution, loss of wildlife and endangered species. But, as we are reminded daily, that progress has been offset by population growth and consumption around the world. Arguably, we are overwhelming the earth’s natural systems at a global scale.

A Legacy of Love

A Legacy of Love

Distracted by an iconic red barn sitting atop picturesque rolling hills, I passed the gravel driveway I was supposed to turn down. As I found my way back, I saw the very reason I was visiting the Goodall property in Madison County. Long rows of newly planted trees nestled inside light green tubes stretched along a tributary of the Robinson River.

I met with brothers, Paul and Joe Goodall, to discuss their family’s participation in the Headwaters Stream Initiative, a partnership program coordinated by Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) and The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) to protect and restore the Rappahannock River watershed by working with landowners to plant native trees and shrubs and re-establish riparian buffers along waterways, which provide a healthy habitat for fish, wildlife and livestock.

Larson Native Plant Garden Opening

Larson Native Plant Garden Opening

With umbrellas in hand, attendees of the Larson Native Plant Garden Reception ventured out to admire the well-designed landscape around PEC’s headquarters office in Warrenton, Va. Named in honor of the organization’s former vice president, Doug Larson, the visionary of the project, the garden has 118 species of native perennials, woodies and grasses.

“It’s already proving to be an educational tool,” says Doug. “People in our beautiful front yard were reading the names of the plants and really taking it all in; and that’s just folks walking down the street. I think it’s going to show people in Warrenton what they can do with native plants.”

Pollinator Garden Planted by Thornton River

Pollinator Garden Planted by Thornton River

PEC partnered with the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC), Cliff Miller Jr. and RappFLOW to install a pollinator garden next to a walking trail by the Thornton River in Sperryville, Va. Using native plants such as perennials, grasses and shrubs from Hill House Farm and Nursery, the garden was installed during a volunteer planting event this past fall.