Celebrating Loudoun’s Historic and Environmental Heritage

By Al Van Huyck

The Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition is delighted to renew its In Our Backyard column in Loudoun Now.

More than 60 articles were published in the former Leesburg Today, covering many of our unique heritage sites in Loudoun, out-of-the-way places of interest, details from our Civil War past, interesting archaeological finds, and the diversity of our special birds and trees.  What binds them together is that they are all found right here in Loudoun County—In Our Backyard.

We hope readers will find the articles to come interesting, educational and worth a trip to see the places, or experience the events, described.  All the articles will be written by your neighbors.

As residents here, we are privileged to live in communities so rich in history, culture, and natural beauty that in many ways they help define our way of life.  As citizens, this richness also carries a responsibility to serve as stewards, passing this heritage to future generations for their advantage and enjoyment.

The Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition will sponsor the articles.  We are a nonprofit informal group of 28 organizations concerned with Loudoun’s heritage or environment.  Membership in these organizations consists of more than 4,000 Loudoun residents who actively volunteer their time, talent and energy.  Our mission is to provide a strong voice for them in public forums, and a convenient and effective way to share information, issues, and ideas.

Join Us at Our “In Our Backyard” Festival on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. at REHAU, 1503 Edwards Ferry Road in Leesburg.

Come see firsthand the diversity of the heritage and environmental organizations contributing to the quality of life in Loudoun.  The event is free and open to the public.  Bring your children to see the exhibits and listen to interesting speakers with vast experience in Loudoun.  Take a guided tour of Fort Evans built by the Confederates in 1861 to protect Leesburg. Light refreshments will be served, and a visual panorama of Loudoun’s special places will be shown on the large screen. Learn how you can get involved in preservation and conservation projects and programs in Loudoun.

The organizations exhibiting include:

Aldie Heritage Association

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship

Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee

Friends of Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

Friends of the Balls Bluff Battlefield

Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains

George C. Marshall International Center At The Marshall House

Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee

Lincoln Preservation Foundation

Loudoun County Equine Alliance

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Preservation Society

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy

Mosby Heritage Area Association

Mt. Zion Cemetery

Piedmont Chapter: Virginia Native Plant Society

Piedmont Environmental Council

Purcellville Historical Society

Unison Preservation Society

Waterford Foundation

The Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition organizes this Festival once every four years to introduce our members and their activities to the public, newly elected members of the Board of Supervisors and our state legislative delegation.  This will be our third such event, and if past experience is a guide, it will be a great fun time, and very informative for all who join us.

We hope to see you there and look forward to providing you with articles about the special heritage and environmental sites that contribute so much to our quality of life in Loudoun County.


[Al Van Huyck is chairman of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition. You may contact him at avanhuyck@aol.com or learn more about the organization at loudouncoalition.org.]


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