PEC Announces Annual Photo Contest Winners for 2021

For Immediate Release

Hugh Kenny, Multimedia Communications Specialist
The Piedmont Environmental Council; 540-347-2334, x7024

Virginia Piedmont, VA. (Dec. 6, 2021) – The Piedmont Environmental Council is pleased to announce the winners of its 2021 Annual Photo Contest, in which professional and amateur photographers alike submit their best images of the beautiful Virginia Piedmont, from within Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock counties and the City of Charlottesville.

“Part of our work at PEC is connecting people to the landscapes, communities and heritage of Virginia’s Piedmont. The incredible, high-quality images that local photographers submit into this contest tell important stories and help people experience this wonderful place in new and exciting ways,” said Hugh Kenny, PEC Multimedia Communications Specialist and contest coordinator.

Finalists from among hundreds of entries are chosen by a team of professional photographers and PEC staff. The winners are selected by public vote. Winners in each adult category receive a gift certificate to a participating Buy Fresh Buy Local restaurant, and the youth winner receives an iTunes, Google Play or Amazon gift card.

This year’s winners are:

  • In the category of Beautiful Landscapes: Nick Palastro, of Springfield in Fairfax County, for “Glow Rime Glow.” Caption: “Rime ice at the summit of Mary’s Rock glowing during a beautifully cold sunrise in Rappahannock County.”
  • In the category of Native Plants and Wildlife: Matthew Huntley, of Fredericksburg, for “Short-Eared Owl Eye Contact.” Caption: “A Short-eared owl staring me down as it flew through a farm field while hunting. Farm in rural Fauquier County, outside Warrenton.”
  • In the category of People and Places: Bill Shaw of Barboursville in Orange County, for “A Walk in the Garden.” Caption: “An early spring stroll in the garden of Montpelier, Orange County.”
  • In the Youth Category: Margreta Grady of Warrenton in Fauquier County, for “Under My Wing. Caption: “Father swan flapping with cygnets floating below, The Clifton Institute, Fauquier County.”

Community members can learn more about the annual photo contest and see all finalists at:


Since 1972, The Piedmont Environmental Council has proudly promoted and protected the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont. PEC empowers residents to protect what makes the Piedmont a wonderful place, and works with citizens to conserve land, improve air and water quality and build thriving communities. PEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and accredited land trust. Learn more at