PEC Annual Report 2011


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Our Annual Report details the work The Piedmont Environmental Council did in 2011 and includes a list of our contributors.

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PEC Annual Report 2011

  1. 1. Piedmont Environmental Council 2011 ANNUAL REPORT
  2. 2. Celebrating PEC at 40  “I’m sure there are a lot of communities where the meeting rooms are empty, and the decisions get made without much citizen understanding or participation. But, then, they get what they get. There are just hundreds of things in this community that wouldn’t have happened if PEC wasn’t there to promote the citizen participation, to provide the information that citizens need—to do some pushing, from time to time, of the elected officials, to be present at all of the meetings. With PEC, people take action.” SALLY THOMAS , former member of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors “The discussions that took place during the Exploring the Small Farm Dream course opened my mind to the local food scene— to the possibilities for small farmers. At first it seemed almost impossible to make a living and be successful at this, but during the class, it gave me hope that we can be successful in the local food movement.” —Amir “It’s hard being a farmer! It’s hard work! Having an organization like PEC instantly gives us access to like-minded people who are there to network with us, support us, point us to the resources— giving us a sense of home and a community. The class was filled. It was standing room only. So, we felt like, ‘OK, we’re not the only crazy ones here. We can make this happen.’” —Diana DIANA BOEKE AND AMIR ABDELMALEK , Owners of Glean Acres, LLC, and alumni of PEC’s Exploring the Small Farm Dream Course, Madison County. Photos by Katherine VanceCOVER: APPLE TREE IN ALBEMARLE COUNTY. Photo by David Anhold.
  3. 3. Founded in 1972 “What we try to do at nature camp is just get children outside —get them to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening around them. Get them to come to an understanding of how the natural systems work, and to come to an appreciation and a respect for our fellow earth-dwelling creatures. That is our hope. That they will look more closely at butterflies and moths, and learn how a honey bee hive works inside, and really take a close look at flowers and birds. What we’re trying to do is get them to come to a direct relationship with the living things in their natural habitat.” LYT WOOD , director of the PEC-sponsored Rappahannock Nature Camp “In our view, the PEC has become the single most significant regional conservation organization over the past 25, 30 years. And we’re grateful for that. The Piedmont Environmental Council gave Mary Lynn and me the opportunity to participate as citizens in two great fights to protect the landscape, and to protect its history. One of these was the fight to keep the Disney Corporation from building a sprawling city on the edge of the Manassas battlefield. PEC also helped us create a 4,000 acre National Rural Historic District here at Thoroughfare Gap.” NICK AND MARY LYNNE KOTZ , Fauquier County residents and founders of Protect Historic America Piedmont Environmental Council · Annual Report · 2011 1
  4. 4. Dear Friends, PEC got its start 40 years ago this year, when a small group restoring wildlife habitat or improving water quality. The local of active citizens recognized that our region was poised for food movement here is one of the strongest in the nation—and dramatic growth. They knew that with a thoughtful and it’s still growing. Reversing decades of trends, many young proactive approach, Piedmont communities could grow people now find farming to be an appealing and viable career, without losing the qualities that make this region truly and they are starting new farms in the Piedmont. special—its beautiful scenery, historic landscapes, productive All of these good things have happened thanks to people farmland, and abundant nature. So, in 1972, they founded PEC, who take action. Citizens help to shape local plans. They to act on that vision. give their input on proposed developments. Support local Their efforts—and those of the many people who worked farmers. Donate conservation easements. Plant trees beside with PEC over the years—have been strikingly successful. streams. Learn more about native flora and fauna. Remove The population in our region has doubled in the last 20 invasive species. Volunteer to monitor water quality. Run years alone, a faster rate than either the state average or the nature day camps. Plant pollinator gardens. Add insulation national average. Our economy has grown substantially, to their houses—and later, solar panels. And so on. PEC acts as well, creating a robust job market that remained as a resource, providing citizens with the information and assistance they need to make a positive difference. comparatively stable, even through hard times. Four decades AN INTERN TENDS SEEDLINGS AT WATERPENNY FARM of intense growth might have come at a devastating cost to Now, one of our key challenges is to engage a new generation the landscape—but, instead, most of the Piedmont region IN RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY. Photo by Katherine Vance. of Piedmont residents in the work—and the joy—of good remains beautiful, open land. In some places, we do see the stewardship for this amazing place that we call home. impacts of sprawling growth, and we are working to address Now, one of our key the challenges, including strain on the transportation network, Because the population has grown rapidly, many current challenges is to engage that result. But there is a great deal to celebrate. residents of the Piedmont don’t have a long personal or family a new generation of history with this land. But the potential for them to form a Thanks to proactive local planning efforts, most development connection is strong (after all, they chose to live here for a Piedmont residents in has taken place in towns, cities and designated growth areas, reason). The fact that 75% of Piedmont residents today live the work—and the joy— and historic downtowns have been revitalized throughout in urban or suburban communities challenges us to think the region. Private land conservation efforts have been about environmental conservation in new ways—so that these of good stewardship for extraordinarily successful, with nearly 350,000 acres now constituents will find it relevant to their lives and take part. this amazing place that protected by conservation easements. In many cases, people Of course, many of the Piedmont’s new residents are children, we call home. are not just preserving land—they’re making it better, by in a generation where children’s access to nature is often2
  5. 5. AYLIN AND OYA SIMPSON FIND A BIRD’S NEST IN THE POLLINATOR GARDEN NEAR THEIR HOME IN BROADLANDS. Photo by Rose Jenkins.restricted. Whether children or adults, when people are cut off fromnature, they cannot learn to love it, and they will not act to protect it. ContentsSo, PEC is reaching out in new ways to engage people in the work MAP OF THE PIEDMONT 4that we do—and our membership is growing. We have expanded land conservation 6our communications and outreach capacity. We are holding moreoutdoor events. We have directly helped to create four new public clean water 8parks and trails in recent years. Our Buy Fresh Buy Local program history and beauty 10connects about 240,000 households with local farms. And PEC’spopular sustainable habitat program, now in its third year, shows better communities 12people how they can improve the natural world where they live, sensible transportation 14whether that’s a large farm or a city lot. healthy air 16PEC, at 40, is vital and dynamic, growing and changing—whilestaying strong in our core mission to protect the land. When we strong rural economies 18preserve land we preserve the potential for people to use and enjoy habitat restoration 20it in many ways—from growing food to exploring wild places.We are happy that people in the Piedmont today can enjoy these connecting people 22 and natureopportunities, and our goal is to offer this same abundance ofpotential for people in the Piedmont tomorrow. THE PIEDMONT FOUNDATION 24Sincerely, CONTRIBUTIONS 25 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF 32Chris Miller, President STATEMENTS OF INSIDE FINANCIAL CONDITION BACK COVERTony Vanderwarker,Chair of the Board Piedmont Environmental Council · Annual Report · 2011 3
  6. 6. Protecting the Piedmont
  7. 7. Easements Recorded in 2011 Conservation Easements Civil War Battlefields Rivers / Streams Publicly Owned Lands Historic Districts National Historic Landmarks Map created by PEC for presentation purposes only. Data source: County Governments, VDHR, VDCR, CWPT, USGS, and PEC. Although efforts have been made to verify data, accuracy is not guaranteed. For more information, please visit March 2012 Conservation Easements Conservation Easements in the Piedmont Public Lands 40 Years of Land Conservation Conservation Easements 0 10 20 Public Lands q Miles L O L O L O L O U U 2002 U U 1982 1992 2012 D RK E D D RK E RKE CLA RKE O CLA CLA CLA D O O O U U U U N N N N A A IA F IA F F F A A A NI NI A U IN U U I I IN U Q Q Q G Q U G NNOCK U U U NNOCK NNOCK PAHA NNOCKRG PAHA RG PAHA RAP PAHA IE IR RAP RAP RAP IE IE IE IR R R V R RVI VI V MA CULP MA MA MA CULP CULP EPE CULP D EPE EPE R EPE D D D R R R IS IS IS IS O O O GR O N GR GR N N GR N E EE E E G E EE EE EE G G N G N E AN N N E AN E AN OR E AN OR OR OR E E E RL LE RL RL A A A M AR M E E EM B EM B B L B L L A L A A A
  9. 9. land conservation PEC as a Land Trust ``PEC conducted extensive outreach to ``PEC held a well-attended workshop for PEC is expanding our role as a full-service land trust— landowners, including a targeted mailing landowners in Culpeper, covering topics one of the key goals of our 2010 Strategic Plan. Historically, that reached 5,700 homes, successful media from conservation easements to riparian outreach, and numerous presentations. buffers to habitat restoration. PEC has concentrated on policy advocacy and landowner PEC’s staff made personal contact with outreach, and partnered with other land trusts (largely approximately 375 interested landowners ``PEC strengthens local Purchase of state agencies) as easement holders. Going forward, we are about their conservation options. Development Rights (PDR) programs holding more easements ourselves. This adds to landowners’ by building citizen support, collaborating on projects, and providing matching options and makes more conservation projects possible. In funds from donations or grants. In 2011, 2011, PEC accepted four easements, so that we now hold PDR programs in Clarke, Fauquier and easements on a total of nearly 6,000 acres. Altogether, PEC Rappahannock protected nine working currently holds easements on nearly 6,000 acres. PEC was in farms, totaling approximately 1,450 acres. the vanguard of land trusts nationwide when, ``Through the Piedmont Foundation, PEC in early 2011, we achieved accreditation manages ten land conservation funds through the Land Trust Accreditation focused on specific priority areas (see Commission, ensuring easement donors p. 24). In 2011, our Clarke County Land Conservation Fund helped the local PDR the highest level of responsible stewardship. program to purchase an easement on 103 acres of a working dairy farm within a rural historic district (pictured on facing page). ``With the help of generous donors, PEC 12,000+ Acres Protected 1,850 ACRES OF PRIVATE LAND ALONG THE CONWAY RIVER IN established the new Greene County Land MADISON AND GREENE ARE PROTECTED. Photo by Frank Crocker. Conservation Fund, a revolving fund that 2011 Acres Total Land Percentage of Land assists landowners with the up-front costs Protected by Protected by Protected by FAWNBOROUGH, A 218-ACRE FARM IN FAUQUIER, WASCounty Conservation Easements Conservation Easements Conservation Easements PROTECTED LAST YEAR, PRESERVING RURAL SCENERY DIRECTLY of donating a conservation easement. ACROSS FROM GREAT MEADOWS. Photo by Heather Richards.Albemarle 2,300 85,700 18%Clarke 700 20,750 18%Culpeper 400 13,600 5.5%Fauquier 3,200 94,500 22.5%Greene 1,300 10,000 10%Loudoun 2,050 50,250 15%Madison 300 13,400 6%Orange 1,300 31,200 14%Rappahannock 650 29,300 17%PEC Region 12,200 348,700 15% 7
  11. 11. clean water Radioactive risk from ``Almost 50 miles of streams were protected by conservation ``PEC is working with the Town of Leesburg to encourage low impact uranium easements in 2011, bringing the total development that will leave intact to more than 1,400 miles. more of the natural systems that filter water. mining ``Over 275 acres of wetlands were protected with conservation ``PEC partnered with high school easements in 2011, for a total of students in Purcellville on a multi- PEC has been a powerful fighter in the nearly 8,200 acres. year project that expanded riparian face of a major corporate push to open buffers on the banks of Catoctin Virginia to uranium mining. Nowhere Creek, saved their outdoor lab, andBuilding in the United States has uranium been mined in a rainy, volatile climate like created a new public trail (see p. 23). ``PEC co-organized the 10th Annualfences for Virginia’s, and the risk of releasing toxic and radioactive contaminants, Loudoun Family Stream Day, an educational event for students andcleaner including numerous carcinogens, into families.streams water supplies is very high. Uranium deposits exist throughout Virginia, ``PEC worked with students to create a rain garden at Eastern View High School in Culpeper, to absorb and including the Piedmont region.Farmers have used a unique filter stormwater runoff. PEC and our partners succeeded inincentive program coordinated preventing a bill to lift Virginia’s ban ``Due in part to PEC’s long-runningby PEC to fence over 1,000 cattle EXAMINING A LARGEMOUTH BASS AT PEC’S POND on uranium mining in 2012, although MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP. Photo by Katherine Vance. community outreach, Culpeperout of streams. These incentives moved forward on a plan for water mining interests are moving toward ahave resulted in livestock and sewer infrastructure that renewed push in 2013.exclusion fencing along 13 miles of ``PEC hosted a free pond supports reasonable growth and management workshop near reduces the allocation for effluentstreams, including eight miles in Warrenton, for people interested in going into local streams by oneRappahannock, where the program improving water quality and wildlife million gallons per day.began. It has since expanded include Culpeper, Greene, ``Albemarle and Charlottesville gave ``PEC built support for local measures final approval to a communityMadison and Orange. Funds are to protect Loudoun’s streams, water supply plan long advocatedprovided through a National Fish with partial success, resulting in by PEC—providing a reliable, locallyand Wildlife Foundation grant. stronger rules to prevent leaking sourced water supply.In combination with government septic systems and erosion from construction sites, expanded ``PEC co-chairs the Choose Cleancost-share programs, they cover Water coalition, which brings nearly incentives for riparian buffers, andthe total costs of stream fencing in funding for suburban tree-planting 200 groups in the Chesapeake Baymost cases. NAOMI HODGE-MUSE, A LEADER IN THE STATEWIDE projects. watershed together to work for EFFORT TO KEEP VIRGINIA’S BAN ON URANIUM MINING, clean streams and a healthy Bay. SAYS, “WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE FUTURE CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA.” Photo by Katherine Vance. Piedmont Environmental Council · Annual Report · 2011 9
  13. 13. history and beauty ``PEC scored two major victories in keeping giant transmission lines from scarring our scenic and historic landscapes—ending designation of our region as a priority transmission line corridor and getting the PATH line application withdrawn (see p. 17). ``The second annual PEC Photo Contest brought in another outpouring of stunning images—a great celebration of this beautiful and unique place. ``Over 3,700 acres of land visible from the WINNER OF THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES CATEGORY IN THE 2011 Appalachian Trail were protected last year, for a PEC PHOTO CONTEST. Photo by Tom Lussier. total of nearly 103,000 acres. ``PEC’s staff spent a summer Saturday greeting ``Over 2,500 acres along Scenic Byways were visitors on overlooks in Shenandoah National protected last year, for a total of nearly 97,000 Park, increasing awareness of how private land acres. conservation protects cherished views.HISTORICAL DRAWING OF THE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. ``Over 90,000 acres of land in rural historic districts are now protected by conservationSaving Wilderness easements, including nearly 1,700 acres protected in 2011.Battlefield—the ``Over 400 acres of Civil War battlefields werebigger picture protected by conservation easements in 2011, including portions of Thoroughfare Gap and Buckland Mills in Fauquier and Upperville in Loudoun. Altogether, conservation easementsIn a dramatic win for Civil War historic preservation, permanently protect over 22,000 acres ofPEC and our partners stopped Walmart from building battlefields in the Piedmont.a Supercenter at Wilderness Battlefield in Orange ``PEC contributed to efforts to highlight local CivilCounty. Last year, Walmart withdrew their plans for UNISON BATTLEFIELD HISTORIC DISTRICT. Photo by Rose Jenkins. War history throughout our region, as part of thethe battlefield site and chose an alternative location. ``The 8,000-acre Unison Battlefield Historic Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War.But this fight underscores the need for a better plan for District in Loudoun County, including some ofthe Rt. 3 corridor—one that balances economic growth the nation’s most pristine Civil War historic sites, ``PEC is coordinating a workshop on minimizing became official in 2011, thanks to a grassroots the impact of infrastructure—like roads, cellwith historic preservation, and optimizes potential for effort supported by PEC. towers, or transmission lines—on Thoroughfaretourism. As Orange revises its Comprehensive Plan, PEC Gap Battlefield in working toward a positive vision for this exceptionally ``PEC helped to keep a bridge over Scenic Bywayhistoric area. Rt. 231 in Madison in keeping with the area’s rural ``PEC is helping to plan a network of trails linking character (see p. 15). historic sites and tourist destinations in Orange. Piedmont Environmental Council · Annual Report · 2011 11
  15. 15. better communitiesReasonablegrowth ``PEC advocated for maintaining ``PEC helped to stop a flawed the current size of the Albemarle cluster zoning ordinance County Growth Area, helping in Culpeper, which wouldin Fauquier to defeat numerous proposals for unnecessary expansions— have allowed many years of development to go up at once, including one that would have without permanent protection forIn spite of weak demand in the eliminated community open space open space.housing market, Fauquier keeps in the Redfields neighborhood.seeing one oversized development ``PEC joined with historic ``PEC has long advocated for preservation partners to provideproposal after another. PEC Albemarle’s Places 29 plan, a earthquake aid in Culpeper,successfully advocated against smart-growth blueprint for land to assist with stabilization ofthe proposed Village of Catlett, use and transportation in the historic buildings in the revitalizedwhich would have more than Route 29 corridor, which was downtown area. adopted in 2011.doubled the size of the existing ``PEC is taking part in the ongoingvillage. We continue to work for ``PEC helped to rally overwhelming review of the Madison County NEW DEVELOPMENT NEAR METRO STOPS, INCLUDING THEreasonable growth in Fauquier by PLANNED SILVER LINE TO DULLES AIRPORT, WILL MEAN SMART citizen support for Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan, advocatingopposing the 500-unit Mintbook GROWTH INSTEAD OF SPRAWL IN THE D.C. AREA. sustainability initiatives, although for rural preservation and a the County responded by proactive plan for growth alongproposal in Bealeton, supporting proceeding with one program Rt. 29.the County’s move toward a morecomprehensive fiscal impact model, D.C. goes for and cancelling others. ``PEC is working with the Town ofand encouraging efforts to promotegreen development design. smart growth ``PEC mobilized citizen opposition to a rezoning that would swell Leesburg on incorporating low impact development standards Creekside, in Greene, to almost into the zoning ordinance. PEC works closely with our partner in 1,200 units, increasing strain onSUE SCHEER AND HOPE PORTER HAVE BEEN the D.C. area, the Coalition for Smarter local schools and roads. ``PEC co-organizedFIGHTING FOR SENSIBLE GROWTH IN FAUQUIERFOR DECADES. Photo by Rose Jenkins. Growth, which made major strides EarthDay@Loudoun, an outdoor festival in suburban last year in advancing transit-oriented Loudoun that drew over 6,000 development—a model that would people! Numerous exhibitors, channel much of the region’s growth educational activities, and a into vibrant neighborhoods within Green Marketplace all focused on celebrating nature and walking distance of Metro stops. This learning how to be more goal gained traction in Prince George’s, environmentally friendly. Fairfax, Montgomery, Arlington and D.C., and at the regional planning level. The federal government added significant momentum, announcing a plan to locate EARTHDAY@LOUDOUN. its large-scale agencies near Metro stops. Photo by Oya Simpson. Piedmont Environmental Council · Annual Report · 2011 13