Stretching 15 miles from the village of Aldie in Loudoun County south to New Baltimore in Fauquier County, the Bull Run Mountains have stories to tell. The mountain range is home to 10 unique plant, forest and woodland ecosystems supporting uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. Its hills were the scene of the Battle at Thoroughfare Gap during the Civil War. The rocky ridges and quartzite cliffs on its western side, along with the shadow of its eastern toe and its hollows, are said to have once guided slaves fleeing bondage via the Underground Railroad.
Preserving historic resources is crucial to understanding our nation’s history. However, historic resources related to African-American and indigenous communities are woefully underrepresented in Virginia’s state database. This has resulted in important resources being overlooked or worse yet, irretrievably lost, and has meant these communities are rarely included as part of larger historic district conversations.
This Black History Month, we’re highlighting local conservation projects that have protected significant African American sites and cultural resources.
Often environmentalists are told that we just 'say no' to things. To which I would argue — saying 'no' to a bad idea is a very important part of what we do. But it's not all we do. At The Piedmont Environmental Council we also strive to put forward constructive alternatives. That's why it's so frustrating to see the Virginia Department of Transportation, led by Sean Connaughton, make mega-projects like the Outer Beltway and Charlottesville Bypass its highest priority. Despite great arguments against both projects — fiscal, environmental, common sense arguments — and plenty of alternatives, VDOT is charging ahead. This text is from an email alert sent out on September 19, 2013: