The Piedmont Environmental Council last week released its version of a conservation look book. Available online and in print, the book titled For the Love of the Land: 100 Conservation Stories from Across Virginia aggregates stories of properties preserved throughout the state’s 100 legislative districts.
An online version of the project features interactive elements that show the breadth of conservation work across the state by categories and allow visitors to zoom in for more information on specific properties. The book is available for $20 to non-members of the PEC and $16 to members.
The publication comes out with plenty of time for it to be circulated (perhaps as Christmas gifts?) among Virginia delegates before the General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 8.
“The hope is that by seeing the faces and reading the stories behind conservation in their region and all of Virginia, the delegates will see the importance of preserving the beautiful places that make the Commonwealth a healthy and wonderful place to live,” PEC’s editor Katherine Vance said in an email.
The book’s 100 stories of conservation — from agricultural to historic properties, urban to recreational — feature just a sampling of the properties PEC and other programs have helped to conserve. A press release about the book said Virginia programs like the Land Preservation Tax Credit, the Office of Farmland Preservation and the Civil War Sites Preservation Fund have provided key support to these conservation efforts.
The General Assembly passed a bill in 2013 that reaffirmed and enhanced these programs, assuring that the three grant-based programs would be adequately funded.
Beyond the colored maps that usually show a smattering of conservation projects across the watershed, this project shows both the breadth and the depth of 100 such projects on a diverse set of properties — from the oldest plantation in Virginia to a site that was believed to be home to Indian leader Powhatan. Many of the projects conserved both environmental resources and elements of historical or cultural importance.