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For immediate release: April 11, 2013 


PEC Receives Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for Land Conservation

Governor Bob McDonnell announced the winners of the 2013 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards on April 8th. The awards recognize the important contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in Virginia, and The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) was a Gold Medal recipient for its Land Conservation program. The Governor’s office stated in a press release that PEC received this award due to its work in “[combining] public and private initiatives with creative market-based solutions to reach state and local conservation goals.”

“These award winners provide excellent examples of environmental protection efforts that benefit all Virginians,” Governor McDonnell said after making his announcement. “They demonstrate the spirit of environmental innovation and leadership of companies and organizations all across the Commonwealth.”

Heather Richards, PEC’s Vice President of Rural and Conservation Programs, accepted the Governor’s award at the Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington on April 10th.

“We are honored to be recognized for over 40 years of work in preserving the scenic, cultural, and natural resources of the Piedmont,” said Richards. “The need for land conservation remains strong throughout our region and all of Virginia, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with landowners and the community to protect the landscape that makes this place special to us all.”

Since 1972, PEC’s energetic outreach and assistance has enabled people to conserve the agricultural and scenic lands they know and love. Today, PEC’s nine-county region is one of America’s most successful areas for private land conservation -- with more than 357,000 acres of privately protected land (view PEC’s map of conserved land in the region>>). This is no small feat in a time when sprawling development and strip malls have taken over a large part of our nation’s landscape. As an accredited land trust, PEC now holds 47 conservation easements—protecting more than 6,600 acres, throughout its nine-county region.

Learn more about PEC’s Land Conservation program by visiting our webpage ( or by reading this article about our work in conservation, which was featured in our spring membership newsletter, The Piedmont View. ###


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