Why does Round Hill have an A.T. art show? Since being designated as an official A.T. Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Round Hill is committed to promoting and protecting the A.T. and all the other beautiful green spaces that surround our town. Helping people see the beauty of this nature is part of our mission.
“I’m always inspired by the wealth of talent and creativity among our local artists of all ages,” says art show Director Susan Stowe. “They really captured the beauty of the A.T. and the wild nature all around us. Every year, the show keeps getting better.”
You can see this year’s art show in person or online:
View entries in the online gallery and video on thethis website.
The Round Hill A.T. Festival is sponsoring a “People’s Choice” competition. Visit the Arts Center or go online to select up to five works you think capture the spirit of the Appalachian Trail and the beauties of nature. What makes you want to “get outside”?
Send the name of the five works and the artists to our festival contact form. Winners will receive prizes from the festival, and the works will be featured in festival promotions.
There’s a new garden in town. Stop by the Town Office to see our Virginia Native Plant Garden. The garden was supported by the Town and installed by volunteers with Round Hill Outdoors, Virginia Master Naturalists and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
Why plant “native”?
Do you like birds? Then you’ll want a host of caterpillars hanging around your house. Do you like to grow veggies? Then you’ll need a few bees in your neighborhood. Here in the U.S., we have a long history of importing plants from distant lands. Some to eat. Some for their looks. The problem is that these exotic plants and our vast expanses of lawn don’t support our bees, birds or other wildlife.
Even worse, some introduced plants are invasive in our environment. When a plant has few or no insects feeding on them or plants that can’t compete with them, they crowd out native plants. Think garlic mustard, multi-flora rose, barberry, Japanese stilt grass. Add to that all land going under development as shopping centers and housing developments, and we’ve lost a great deal of native habitat.
So, what can we do? Plant native. Birds and butterflies depend on native plans for food, shelter and reproduction. Our gardens can become sanctuaries for these critters. And that’s not the only benefit of going native. Plants that are naturally adapted to our local soils and climate, will need less fertilizer, water and pesticides–so they’re easier to maintain as they help reduce the chemicals introduced to our habitats.
Using native plants helps preserve the balance and beauty of our natural ecosystems. And it’s not hard to “go native.” Groups like Plant NoVa Natives and Audubon at Home offer abundant advice. Plus, many of our local nurseries carry a selection of Virginia native plants, and we even have an all-native nursery, Watermark Woods, near town.
The Virginia Native Plant Garden will be maintained by Round Hill Outdoors.
You can both celebrate the natural beauty of the A.T. and learn about protecting it. We’ll have partner organizations (Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Friends of the Blue Ridge, Virginia Master Naturalists) with displays and talks about hiking, trail conservancy and more. Enjoy live music, too—plus equipment demos, kids activities, food and, of course, beer.
Following 2,100 miles of mountain ridge lines, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) crosses 14 states, from Maine to Georgia. It’s the longest and oldest marked footpath in the country. And we’re lucky enough to have the A.T. right in our backyard.
In the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town of Round Hill sits between two beloved A.T. centers, Bears Den to the south and Blackburn to the north. So, when town leaders learned about the Appalachian Trail Community program, it seemed a natural fit. After more than a year of work and planning, this festival acknowledges Round Hill’s official designation as an A.T. Community, recognizing the Trail as a community assist and pledging to support ongoing Trail stewardship.