Restoring Wildlife Habitat
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Whether you live in urban, suburban or rural areas, you can make a positive impact on surrounding fish and wildlife populations. Our web resources are intended to give you the tools to manage your Piedmont lands and waters for greater biodiversity, productivity, and environmental quality.

From the Piedmont View

The following articles appeared in PEC's Membership Newsletter -- The Piedmont View

2019 Land Conservation Totals

Mar 12, 2020
In 2019, private landowners, working together with land trusts and public agencies, protected 12,475 acres of land in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and…

President's Letter - Fall 2019

Sep 23, 2019
At this summer’s Sunset Safari event, The Piedmont Environmental Council, the Shenandoah National Park Trust, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute recognized The Volgenau Foundation for…

Common Space for the Greater Good

Dec 14, 2018
Over 60 percent of Loudoun residents, live in a Homeowners Association-controlled community. How these communities manage their landscapes can have a profound effect on the health of our local…

More Restoring Wildlife Habitat

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    Jun 23, 2020

    Creating Habitat for Native Bees

    You don’t have to be a genuine bee keeper to help our native bees. You can create a place for them to thrive right in your backyard garden. First, assess your location. Is your project area in full sun, partial sun or is it fully shaded? Soil drainage also matters, whether it’s average, dry or wet soil. Once you know this, pick the plants that would thrive in that specific environment. Read More
  • Apr 21, 2020

    Video Updates from PEC's Larson Native Plant Garden

    Stay up to date with what's in bloom at PEC's Larson Native Plant Garden! Read More
  • Feb 06, 2019

    Tips for Providing Winter Wildlife Habitat

    Winter can be tough on all of us, including our native wildlife. During the freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls, we can swing by the grocery store before a winter storm and stay cozy in our warm homes. But wildlife are out in the harsh weather, trying to survive the season with dwindling resources. Read More
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    May 20, 2018

    The Larson Native Plant Garden

    In 2015, PEC finished the renovation and expansion of our historic headquarters office, which was built in 1784 in Warrenton, Virginia. As part of the vision for a more sustainable building, we began extensive restoration work on the office grounds.  Read More
  • Mar 06, 2017

    A Burn at the Piedmont Memorial Overlook

    As part of our ongoing habitat restoration project at our Piedmont Memorial Overlook property near Sky Meadows State Park, the Virginia Department of Forestry helped us conduct a prescribed burn on 5 acres of our native warm season grass meadow. Prescribed fire reduces fuels, suppresses some woody species, recycles nutrients and stimulates plant growth-- all of which improves habitat for wildlife. Read More
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    Nov 02, 2016

    Thumb Run Wildlife Habitat Corridor Project

    In June 2012, PEC received a grant from The Volgenau Foundation to improve wildlife habitat in the northwestern region of Fauquier County. This project area is geographically defined by the Thumb Run watershed; all water in the region drains into Thumb Run and eventually the Rappahannock River. Wildlife habitat improvement goals for this project align with state priority wildlife species including: early successional song birds, pollinators, fresh water aquatic species such as mussels, amphibians, and more. Improving the connectivity of habitat “corridors” such as riparian buffers is a key focus of the project. Habitat practices that have other environmental benefits such as improved water quality are also of high priority. Get involved! Read More
  • Sep 21, 2016

    Opportunity to Help with Ailanthus Control

    The following message went out by email from Rod Walker of Blue Ridge PRISM. As a stakeholder, PEC wanted to help spread the word: To landowners in Virginia's Piedmont and Mountain Region, The Blue Ridge PRISM [Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management] has recently been made aware of an exciting experiment on biocontrol methods for Ailanthus. The success of the experiment depends on landowner participation. Below is more information about the experiment. If you are a landowner interested in providing a site for their work, please contact Rachel Brooks, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read More
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    Dec 10, 2015

    Larval Host Plants of Selected Lepidoptera (e.g. Butterflies, Moths, Skippers) in Virginia

    This list of larval host plants for common Virginia butterfly species was compiled by Bob Glennon and David Bryan, NRCS Private Lands Biologists, and Celia Vuocolo, PEC's Habitat and Stewardship Specialist: Read More
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    Feb 06, 2015

    Black Bear Primer

    A nationwide decline in hunting, combined with hunting restrictions in heavily populated areas has helped to increase black bear populations. Read More
  • Nov 03, 2014

    Coyotes, Our Elusive Neighbors

    For those of us old enough to remember when Looney Tunes ruled the afternoon cartoon television slot, the name Wile E. Coyote holds fond memories of a scrappy canine and his many failed attempts at catching the infamous and speedy Road Runner. To many children this was their first exposure to Canis latrans, who, next to the Gray Wolf, is North America’s other well-known and often misunderstood wild. While Wile E. Coyote is known to prowl about on the flat, long desert highways of the American West, our Eastern coyote here in Virginia inhabits a different kind of backdrop. Coyotes are found in almost every environment in our state: forests, fields, suburbs, and city alleys. They are a notoriously secretive and seldom seen species. If you do happen to see a coyote, it is most likely due to chance, illness (such as rabies, mange, canine distemper, etc.), or because the animal has become desensitized to humans, which is often the result of either intentional or unintentional feeding. Read More
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    Sep 20, 2013

    Fall !

    This is my kind of weather! Red maples turn their namesake, broad wing hawks and other raptor migrate south, white-tailed deer enter the rut, and so many more fun things. Speaking of deer, here's a copy of a recent article I wrote on deer abundance and wildlife habitat. This text was taken from an email sent out on September 20th, 2013: Read More
  • Sep 09, 2013

    Oh Deer!

    Fall is a busy time for wildlife in the Piedmont, particularly for mammals as they rush to prepare for the coming winter – storing food caches, finding mates, and burrowing den sites. During this time, white-tailed deer enter “the rut”: hormones rage, antlers grow, and males seek out females. Historically, it’s this time of year when you’re most likely to see deer, especially as bucks pursue does and the does play coy. Today, however, you are very likely to encounter deer any time of year -- not just during the rut. Read More
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    Jun 06, 2013

    A Season Full of Activity

    I hope you’re enjoying the delightfully cool spring. Personally, I’ll take all the cool weather I can get before the dog days of summer hit. Any cicadas in your neck of the woods? We'll see if the cool weather means that Brood 2 Cicadas will persist longer than usual. Check out this wonderful video on the life cycle of these fascinating creatures. This text was taken from an email sent out on June 6th, 2013: Read More
  • Jun 06, 2013

    Lyme Disease

    In a departure from my normal column on creating habitat, here is some knowledge on ticks ecology and preventative measures from the perspective of an ecologist who spends a lot of time outside. With a little education and forethought, you and your family can better enjoy the outdoors all season long. First – a word of warning: I’m not a health professional by training, so always consult your doctor if you have health concerns. Read More
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    Mar 15, 2013

    Building a Home for Wildlife: Houses, Nests, & More

    Just like humans, wildlife species have four primary needs to survive: food, water, shelter and space. These four components form the basis of wildlife habitat, and each species fulfills these needs differently. Yet, for all species, if one of these four components is missing in a given area, it can affect the species’ population. In this article, I’ll be focusing on one of these needs – cover (the wildlife term for “shelter”) -- and what are potential solutions when it’s a limiting factor in an environment. Specifically, how we can use man-made cover to help out wildlife. Read More
  • Dec 17, 2012

    Presentations from the November 2012 Invasive Plant Symposium

    Our November 2012 Invasive Plant Symposium was a great success! Over 140 people attended this event in Middleburg, co-sponsored by PEC, Sacharuna Foundation, Virginia Working Landscapes, and United Plants Savers. Read More
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    Oct 16, 2012

    Invasive Plants: Why Bother?

    (this article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of The Piedmont Virginian )When I work with landowners on how they can better manage their properties for wildlife habitat, many common questions concern invasive plants. These questions include: “What is that weird, abundant vine/shrub/tree/pond muck? And how do I get rid of it?” Other times, it’s: “Do I need to worry about plant X?” or “Why bother?” Read More
  • Jul 13, 2012

    Presentations from the May 2012 Invasive Plant Workshop

    The following presentations were given at a May 2012 Invasive Plant Workshop co-sponsored by PEC, Sacharuna Foundation, Virginia Working Landscapes, and United Plants Savers. Read More
  • May 18, 2012

    Better Habitat: Water, Woods and Beyond

    Learn about Wildlife Habitat in the Virginia Piedmont -- what it is, why we care, what a landowner can do to improve it. The following PowerPoint presentations were given to members of the Orange County Hunt in March, 2012. Better Wildlife Habitat: Water, Woods and Beyond Early Successional HabitatView more presentations from Piedmont Environmental Council Read More
  • Apr 27, 2012

    The History & Habitat of Amphibians

    PEC's Sustainable Habitat Program Manager, James Barnes, wrote this article about our region's amphibians for the Spring 2012 issue of The Piedmont Virginian... Read More
  • Jan 30, 2012

    Enhancing Habitat for Birds

    Check out the Bird Habitat Guide to learn how you can enhance bird habitat in your backyard. The Piedmont is home to over 140 species of birds that breed in the area, but many of these bird populations have declined in recent decades due to loss of habitat and degradation. PEC recently teamed up with the American Bird Conservancy to produce a Bird Habitat Guide that offers tips on how you can enhance bird and wildlife habitat on your property. Whether you have a large farm or small backyard, you can help a variety of birds to thrive through simple changes such as leaving a fence row to grow unkempt or allowing part of your yard to grow up in native grasses rather than mowing. Read More
  • Jan 30, 2012

    Web Resources for Creating Habitat

    Helpful links related to creating habitat, particularly backyard habitats: Read More

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