A Million Dollar View...for free?

Protecting wild places from development saves your natural scenery

 View into Shenandoah Valley from the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park.

View into Shenandoah Valley from the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park.

   

It’s a raw, cool morning. You’re nearing the halfway point on Old Rag, the trail in Shenandoah National Park famous for its rigorous treks and beautiful overlooks. After a couple of hours of hiking uphill, you’re finally ready to take in your spoils: the awe-inspiring view from a craggy overlook.

Choose your adventure: Next, you…

#1 – look out and see industrial parks, shopping plazas, high rises, and highways.
OR
#2 – look out over verdant forests, meandering rivers, and a quaint town nestled in the valley.

If you chose the first option, we need to talk.

For everyone else, welcome to Team Potomac, your merry band of outdoor lovers and river champions.

Like you, we live for the moments when we can get outdoors, take in fresh air, and enjoy views of our rivers, forests, meadows, and hills.

It can be easy to take natural views for granted, but think about it. Whether you're kayaking on the Potomac River, hiking the AT, or simply taking a weekend drive out in the country - you're enjoying views stewarded by others. 

In fact, privately owned lands make up most of the landscapes we see in passing, not public parks as so often is assumed.

 
 Big Devil's Stairs Trail, Shenandoah National Park. Emily Warner, 2016.

Big Devil's Stairs Trail, Shenandoah National Park. Emily Warner, 2016.

 

Imagine how disheartened you would feel if you hiked to an overlook to find a business park, or if floating the Shenandoah River meant viewing the backyards of townhomes instead of herons and hawks and trees. 

 
 Seneca creek & Seneca rocks, Pendleton County, West Virginia. Dave Kersey, 2015.

Seneca creek & Seneca rocks, Pendleton County, West Virginia. Dave Kersey, 2015.

 

The beauty of scenic beauty is that it's accessible to everyone.

You don't have to be adventurous to enjoy a quiet, shady stretch of the C&O Canal in the District, or the country roads of the Shenandoah Valley. Sweeping river views and vistas of green rolling hills, orderly apple orchards, and lazily grazing animals are all within reach.  

 
 Private conservation easement, Hampshire County, West Virginia. Emily Warner, 2012.

Private conservation easement, Hampshire County, West Virginia. Emily Warner, 2012.

 

And you don't need physical access to private lands to enjoy them. Their beauty and character can often be seen from a public trail or overlook, highway, or recreational area along a river or creek.

 
 Hiking along the Potomac River, Maryland Heights, C&O Canal National Historical Park. Tracy Lind, 2016.

Hiking along the Potomac River, Maryland Heights, C&O Canal National Historical Park. Tracy Lind, 2016.

 

Natural and agricultural scenery contribute to rural economies, outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and the overall character of a place and livelihood of residents and visitors. This scenic enjoyment is a conservation value protected by county land use planning; local, state, and federal parks; and by private conservation easements

 
 Private conservation easement & George Washington National Forest, Funk Road, Shenandoah County, Virginia. Emily Warner, 2016.

Private conservation easement & George Washington National Forest, Funk Road, Shenandoah County, Virginia. Emily Warner, 2016.

 

Through community-driven support, our team at Potomac Conservancy works closely with private landowners to preserve wild and streamside landscapes through our Land Protection Program.

 
 
 

These photographs show scenery of private conservation easements or public lands. 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 gazing from a public overlook.

 
 Walking on the C&O Canal towpath. Angel Benner, 2016.

Walking on the C&O Canal towpath. Angel Benner, 2016.

 

How you can give back

Save wild places, your natural views, and clean water!
Support Potomac Conservancy's Land Protection program today.

 

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 www.potomac.org/lands for more details or call or email Emily at 540-667-3606 or warner@potomac.org in our Winchester, Virginia, office.

   

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