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Wilderness Crossing Town Hall
October 25, 2022 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
PEC and our partners will lay out the case against the proposed Wilderness Crossing development in Orange County and give you the information you need to make sure your voice is heard – starting now, and again in person once the issue comes before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
For over 10 years, a coalition of historic preservation organizations, PEC, and the National Park Service have worked to raise awareness and concerns about threats to the Wilderness Battlefield. For the past year, the Coalition’s efforts have focused on Wilderness Crossing, and now we are holding our own town hall on October 25.
**If you can, please RSVP to Katie Smolar, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Education Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan for enough seating. Event free and open to the public.
Event co-hosted by The Piedmont Environmental Council, Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Preservation Virginia, American Battlefield Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Learn more about Wilderness Crossing at pecva.org/wilderness-crossing.
Wilderness Crossing is a 2,600-acre rezoning and development proposal in Orange County for the intersection of Rt. 3 and Rt. 20 adjacent to Wilderness Battlefield and across from Lake of the Woods. It would be the largest land rezoning in Orange County history and could raise taxes for county residents and cause unnecessary harm to natural and historic resources for years to come.
In addition to concerns about taxes, infrastructure (water and sewer), traffic, and habitat fragmentation, Wilderness Crossing is also the site of numerous unreclaimed gold mines—essentially, mines that have never been closed off and cleaned up of contaminants such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead. The largest mine on the property, called the Vaucluse mine, has been documented by state inspectors as the site of extreme mercury contamination. Since it was never cleaned up, the tailings pit is likely still leaching toxic chemicals into Shotgun Hill Branch today and is an expected source of contamination in Wilderness Run, and ultimately, the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers. PEC recommends that Orange County seriously consider how the toxic legacy of gold mining at this location could impact the health, safety and welfare of future residents and downstream communities.
PEC and the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition has been following the Wilderness Crossing proposal since the application was first submitted by developer KEG Associates III in March of 2021.
Please contact Don McCown at email@example.com if you have any questions.