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:
“This part of northern Virginia has soaked up more of the blood, sweat and tears of American history than any other part of the country.” –Late Yale historian C. Vann Woodward
Many tools are available to preserve rural land, from private land conservation to Purchase of Development Rights programs, land use taxation, zoning provisions and more.
The village of Unison in western Loudoun, as if charmed in some way to keep from changing, is a quiet hamlet of well-kept old buildings, with many farmhouses, barns and churches that measure their age in centuries. They are settled into a landscape of farm fields and stone walls, where the curving hills and stands of trees give way, in their own rhythm, to views of the calm blue line of mountains on the western horizon.
It’s the roads in Unison that historians get most excited about, says Mitch Diamond of the Unison Preservation Society, which is leading efforts to list this area as a historic district on the state and national registers of historic places.