Margrete Stevens of the Warrenton Garden Club, Piedmont Environmental Council President Chris Miller and GCV President Jean Gilpin at the 2018 Conservation Forum at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesvile.

The Piedmont Environmental Council has been selected to receive the 2018 Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award for Conservation, having been nominated by the Warrenton Garden Club. The PEC, founded in 1972, has a mission to “promote and protect the Virginia Piedmont’s rural economy, natural resources, history and beauty.” It is one of the most effective community-based environmental groups in the country and has played a vital role in the promotion of land conservation, with more than 400,000 acres of land permanently protected in the nine-county area it serves.

In addition, the PEC has worked closely with the Garden Club of Virginia and individual garden clubs on crucial conservation issues, including the defeat of Disney’s America theme park, the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia, the proper siting of electric transmission lines and opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. In 2006, the PEC became the Virginia sponsor for the Buy Fresh Buy Local movement and maintains a list of sources for local food. The PEC is a model organization working to “create high-quality communities, strengthen rural economies, celebrate historic resources, protect air and water quality, build smart transportation networks, promote sustainable energy choices, restore wildlife habitat and improve people’s access to nature.”

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