A global environmental movement began in 1970, as 20 million people flooded the streets across the United States for the first observance of Earth Day. Environmental conservation has been a focus for the Dulles Greenway beginning with the roadway’s initial design and construction in 1995 and we look forward to celebrating Earth Day each year on April 22.
For the past 25 years, the Dulles Greenway and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy have united to support and protect our local environment. Mrs. Magalen (Maggie) Bryant, the creator of the Dulles Greenway, was a prominent environmentalist in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties. A founding member of the Delta Environmental Land Trust and a Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mrs. Bryant envisioned a roadway that could stimulate economic development in Loudoun County, while preserving the county’s natural environment and sustaining its natural beauty.
The Dulles Greenway continues to fulfill Mrs. Bryant’s vision through our ongoing sustainability initiatives and our partnership with Loudoun Wildlife. This partnership has provided stewardship for our 149-acre Dulles Greenway Wetlands property. Among the most productive ecosystems in the world, many animals and plants are dependent on wetlands for survival. Our vibrant wetlands conservation habitat is home to rare and unique species of plants, animals and birds including a pair of nesting bald eagles, river otter, bluebirds, and songbirds to name a few.
The Dulles Greenway and Loudoun Wildlife have also collaborated to protect the Goose Creek watershed, which provides drinking water for much of northern Fauquier and Loudoun counties. Goose Creek is home to many birds, fish, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians, and insects including state-threatened species such as the wood turtle and loggerhead shrike.
Over our 25-year partnership with Loudoun Wildlife, the organization has grown from a handful of volunteers to a respected voice for Loudoun County wildlife comprised of a dedicated staff of experts. The Dulles Greenway’s ongoing support of Loudoun Wildlife has advanced its mission to educate, inspire, motivate, and engage people to protect, preserve and restore wildlife habitat. With the assistance from the Dulles Greenway, they have hosted more than 90 educational programs and field trips that annually engage over 2,400 people from around the community and participated in habitat conservation efforts like the active protection of the wetlands located on the Dulles Greenway property and the protection of Goose Creek.
As Loudoun County continues to grow, our partnership with the Loudoun Wildlife becomes ever more important. Our natural resources not only protect our drinking supply, they provide valuable habitat for resident and migratory species, filter and retain storm water, increase resilience against storms and drought, and create a beautiful natural venue where people and wildlife merge.
We are proud that our long-term partnership with Loudoun Wildlife has advanced environmental protection in Loudoun County. We hope you will also support this important organization by visiting the Loudoun Wildlife’s website to find volunteer opportunities and learn about upcoming events. We only get one Earth, and the Dulles Greenway is committed to doing our part in protecting and supporting our local environment, not just on Earth Day but every day.
Renée Hamilton, President and CEO, TRIP II, and Michael Myers, Executive Director, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy