George Mason University plant ecology students are helping The Piedmont Environmental Council measure the success of our wetlands restoration effort at Roundabout Meadows. With a grant from the Virginia Native Plant Society, the students are establishing a baseline dataset by collecting and identifying all plant species there.
Many residents frequent common areas that are managed by homeowners associations, churches, or local governments. How these entities manage their public landscapes can have a profound effect on the health of our local ecosystems, wildlife, streams and drinking water sources. HOA’s in particular have a significant amount of common area that is often just mowed grass.
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 Rappahannock counties. The 2019 conservation easements bring the total protected land in The Piedmont Environmental Council’s (PEC) nine-county region to 421,415 acres, accounting now for nearly 20 percent of the entire land area in the nine counties.
Wetlands, including seeps and springs, serve as important areas of habitat for aquatic and terrestrial animals, and provide the important ecological function of filtering sediment and pollution before they reach the watershed. Wetlands are most effective in their ecological function and as habitat when their unique vegetation is allowed to grow. It is recommended not to drain or mow wetlands, nor to remove trees or allow livestock in them.