| In 1995, the Dulles Toll Road was in the final stages of completion and the “development” of Loudoun was just kicking in. Changes in our landscape were taking place, subtly at first but then more dramatically as wetlands were filled, fields were replaced by lawns, and forests were cleared for malls and houses, thereby displacing wildlife and changing the face of our county.
In response to these changes, three Loudoun residents, Joe Coleman, Diane Gilliam and Leslie Metzger, decided it was time to form an organization to help preserve and protect habitat for wildlife in our county. In the spring of 1995, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy was founded.
Since our founding, we have made some significant strides. Here are a few highlights:
1995: Conducted the first educational program and first demonstration of stream monitoring (Taylorstown Bridge)
1996: Kicked off the Citizen Stream Monitoring Program
1996: Published the first edition of the Habitat Herald
1996: Initiated the School Yard Habitat program at the Lincoln Elementary School
1997: Held the first Annual Butterfly Count for Loudoun
1997: Conducted the first Annual Christmas Bird Count for Loudoun
1997: Spoke out on Banshee Reeks and the need for a passive park
1999: Played a key role in establishing Banshee Reeks as a nature park
1999: Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy honored by Leesburg Government with the 1999 Award for Community Improvement as a result of our leading the riparian tree planting at Ida Lee Park
1999: Worked with the Virginia Native Plant Society to produce the popular brochure Do I have to Mow All That?
2000: Helped build the coalition of organizations which became Loudoun Watershed Watch (LWW)
2001: Developed the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Environmental Position that was presented to the Board of Supervisors
2002: Engaged our members to participate in discussions and focus groups on revisions to the county’s development regulations
2003: Participated in the Campaign to Save Courtland Woods, an effort to purchase and protect 200 acres of land scheduled for high-density development; the campaign’s goal was to add the 200 acres to banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
2004: Managed 27 volunteer-monitored stations throughout Loudoun County streams
2004: Developed a more formal partnership with the Virginia Bluebird Society to monitor and expand bluebird nestbox trails across the county
2005: Celebrated our 10th Anniversary!!
2005: Established partnership with the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship and continued to expand partnership with the Audubon Naturalist Society
2006: Produced the Gardening for Wildlife to provide citizens with a comprehensive resource on native plants and their beneifits to wildlife so we can all help restore local habitats
2006: Created the The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Coloring Book filled with local animal and plant species inorder to support environmental education
2006: Laid the groundwork for the Amphibian Monitoring Program
2006: Added 3 more trails to our bluebird nestbox trail system and led a stream buffer restoration at Frazier Park, planting over 500 trees and shrubs
2006: Led the charge to protect Loudoun's wildlife habitats through speaking at public hearings, engaging citizens in action alerts, our postcard campaign and petition to save Wood Turtles.
2007: Worked with other local environmental organizations to form the Loudoun Environmental Stewardship Alliance (LESA) to enable greater opportunities in environmental education for grades K-12
2007: Conducted habitat restoration event at Rust Sanctuary to protect the very special upland forest pond
2007: First full year of the Amphibian Monitoring Program with over 50 volunteer monitors
2008: Habitat Restoration Project launched at the Phillips Farm in Waterford - stream buffer planting and invasive species removal
2008: Added 4 more bluebird nestbox trails: Arcola Elementary, Pinebrook Elementary, Susan Kane Nature Preserve, Belmont Greene
2008: Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Board approved the launch of the 5-year project to develop the Loudoun Bird Atlas, which will include a birding checklist to be used on field trips
2008: Created the Loudoun Wildlife Puzzle Book filled with crossword puzzles on local wildlife to support environmental education. Puzzles can be downloaded from our educational resources page
2009: Became active participants in the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition (LCPCC)
2009: Executed major habitat restoration projects at the Philips Farm in Waterford, Rust Nature Sanctuary in Leesburg and Town Branch Stream in Leesburg
2009: Engaged developer and actively engaged public in making sure Great Blue Heron Rookery and surrounding habitat would be protected as Kinora is developed
2009: Engaged with Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority on future plans for Whites Ford Park as a passive park
2010: Established after school Natue Club at Lovettsville Elementary school, creating a model that we will use with additional schools moving forward
2010: Developed rain garden at Freedom Park in Leesburg and continued to expand upon existing habitat restoration prjects at the Phillips Farm and Rust Nature Sanctuary
2011: Published our first field guide: Field Guide to the Butterflies of Loudoun County
You can also read about our activities at LWC in the News.