20 Years Since Disney

This text was taken from an email alert sent out on October 2nd, 2013:



On Oct. 12, we'll address the often asked question “Are we really better off without Disney?”
Photo from Protest in D.C.

It’s been twenty years since Disney proposed a historic theme park at the foothills of the Bull Run Mountains near Thoroughfare Gap. The Piedmont Environmental Council, led by Amb. Charlie Whitehouse, was a small organization at the time, but stepped up and helped spearhead a David vs. Goliath campaign that drew intense national attention.

For Disney, it was truly death by a thousand cuts — with intense grassroots opposition and strong citizen leaders with names like Backer, Snyder, Elliot, Porter, Wilkins, Moe, Scheer, Kotz and McCullough, along with organizations like Protect Historic America, the Fauquier African American Historical Society and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, pushing on all fronts.

On October 12th, join us at Historic Galemont Farm in The Plains, as we reflect on what’s happened in the years since Disney, present workshops that fit today, hear from Keynote Speaker Hedrick Smith and discuss what the next twenty years will hold.

Join us for a Meeting at Galemont

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9am – 2:30pm
At the home of Nick and Mary Lynn Kotz
5071 Galemont Lane, The Plains, VA 20198

Tickets: $30/member | $40/non-member


Join us for a variety of workshops, lectures, lunch and an optional hike at Bull Run Mountains. Photos by Jack Kotz.

Feel free to come for the whole time, or the part that you're most interested in. Registration includes lunch provided by Savory Fare. You can sign up online or by contacting Karen Hunsberger Adam at 540-347-2334 ext 7001.

A Lot to See and Learn

Workshops and lectures include:

>Prescribed Fire as a Habitat Management Tool

>Easy Pasture Assessment

>The Outer Beltway: A Bad Road, A Good Fight

>Thoroughfare Gap Through the Years: A Historical Walk

>A response to the question: "Are we better off without Disney?"

>Keynote Address: "Civic Activism – The Wider Agenda"




Renowned journalist Hedrick Smith, will speak about civic activism during his Keynote Address.

Keynote Speaker: Hendrick Smith is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/ correspondent, who has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America’s most distinguished journalists. In addition to writing several best-selling books, he was a principal panelist on PBS's Washington Week in Review and as a special correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer for twenty five years. He is well known as an effective speaker to college commencements, civic groups, business conventions, and lecture series nationwide, admired for cogent analysis and compelling story-telling.

Immediately following the keynote we will offer an optional hike into the Bull Run Mountains with Bull Run Mountains Conservancy’s Director, Michael Kieffer, who will guide us through both the natural and cultural history of the mountains. It is a 90 minute tour and the hiking is easy-moderate.

More details about the event — workshop descriptions, agenda, etc. — are posted on our website. I look forward to seeing you there!


Chris Miller
The Piedmont Environmental Council

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Banner image credit David Anhold