The Piedmont Grassland Bird Initiative Undergoes an Exciting Name Change

Caption: From left to right: Celia Vuocolo, Private Lands Biologist (Quail Forever), October Greenfield, VGBI Co-Coordinator (The Piedmont Environmental Council), Jacob Gilley, Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Grazing Manager (American Farmland Trust), Amy Johnson, Program Director (Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes), and Justin Proctor, VGBI Coordinator (Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes). Photo by Hugh Kenny/PEC.

We’ve renamed the Piedmont Grassland Bird Initiative! Now officially the Virginia Grassland Bird Initiative (VGBI), the program’s name change reflects an expanded reach and mission to improve grassland bird habitat on working landscapes in Virginia.

We’re proud to announce that in the initiative’s first spring season, 10 property owners enrolled over 1,800 acres in our financial incentives program. And coming up this spring 2023, we’ll have expanded those cost-share opportunities to include farmers who adopt bird-friendly best management practices in the Shenandoah Valley, too.

A collaboration that began between The Piedmont Environmental Council and the Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes, VGBI’s reach is increasingly statewide through continued partnerships with the American Farmland Trust, Quail Forever, and other regional and local conservation organizations and government agencies. 

The newly branded Virginia Grassland Bird Initiative has a lot of new projects underway, and we’re excited to work with you to benefit the amazing grassland birds that call your landscape home. If you’d like to stay connected, get involved, or just learn more, please visit The VGBI team is always looking to connect with new landowners and producers across the region!

Our service area currently includes Albemarle, Augusta, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties.