Photo Essay: The Value of Scenic Beauty

Private Land Protection Saves Our Community’s Natural Scenery


Essay by Tracy Lind
Potomac Conservancy Stewardship & Outreach Specialist

When driving to Shenandoah National Park, kayaking or rafting in the Potomac River, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, you will enjoy breathtaking views of rivers, forests, and other natural landscapes. Equally as appealing are the country roads in the Shenandoah Valley, where you are surrounded by hayfields, apple orchards, barns, and grazing cattle and sheep.  

Land does not have to be physically accessible to the public to provide this scenic enjoyment. Its beauty and character can be seen from a public trail or overlook, road, or a recreational area along a river or creek.

While beautiful scenery is most often associated with public parks, most landscapes are compiled of privately owned land. Imagine how disheartened you would feel if you reached an overlook that peers over business parks or if floating on the Shenandoah River meant looking at townhomes and manicured lawns instead of tree-lined streams and wildlife.

Natural and agricultural scenery contribute to rural economies, outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and the overall character and livelihood of residents and visitors. This scenic enjoyment is another conservation value of properties protected with conservation easements

These photographs show scenery of conservation easements and their surrounding areas. Each photo was taken from a public place, meaning these views can be seen by anyone driving down a public road, traveling on a navigable creek or river, or looking from a public overlook.



Interested in Land Conservation?

Would you or someone you know like to leave a legacy by protecting the natural resources, beautiful scenery, and unique characteristics of his or her land with a conservation easement? Maybe you don’t have land but would like to learn how to support private land conservation?

Visit for more details or call or email me, Tracy, at 540-667-3606 or in our Winchester, Virginia, office.


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