Dominion’s preferred route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline crosses into one of the most populated and mountainous regions of Nelson County, a vibrant area known for its ecology, tourism, award-winning breweries, restaurants, and wineries. The nationally-known, award-winning Wintergreen Resort and the fast-growing Nelson 151 corridor, comprise a new tourism ecosystem now being called “Virginia’s Napa Valley”.
Wintergreen Resort and Community
For the past 40 years, the Wintergreen community has endeavored to establish and maintain its reputation as environmentally sensitive, utilizing strong themes of conservation and preservation in its covenants and restrictions and its community policy. This community consists of more than 11,000 acres which includes 3,600 individual residences, a premier four-season resort, and approximately 6,000 acres of dedicated open space — 1,400 acres of which are protected by a conservation easement. Wintergreen is also Nelson County’s largest employer and taxpayer and attracts 400,000 visitors each year.
The pipeline would carve a 125-foot-wide scar across Wintergreen property and directly in front of the community’s only entrance and exit. Its location in a pristine and fragile landscape, would significantly disrupt economic development, negatively impact property values, and violate the core values of this unique eco-conscious community. In an emergency, the proposed route would also block the sole exit for 10,000 Wintergreen mountain community residents and visitors.
Route 151 is a designated Virginia scenic byway that has recently become the location of multiple wineries, breweries, bed and breakfasts, and other tourist attractions. For example, five wineries, three breweries, a cidery, and a distillery have all opened along Route 151 in recent years. These destinations bring much-needed tourist revenue and, importantly, jobs to the area. It attracts 400,000 visitors per year. Two companies here, Devil’s Backbone Brewery and Bold Rock Cidery, are among the fastest growing businesses in the Commonwealth.
Establishments along Nelson 151 have hosted music festivals and other events. What distinguishes the Route 151 corridor from other tourist destinations is that it advertises itself as a “green” tourist destination in one of the country’s most pristine natural areas.
The current route of the ACP cuts directly across Nelson 151 and would force the cancellation of at least two new large resort projects. The pipeline would also change the natural character of the area, especially during construction.
Friends of Wintergreen collaborates with Wintergreen and other community and business groups seeking a “responsible” pipeline. We encourage you to visit and support them.
Wintergreen Resort is an award-winning ultimate four-season vacation or conference spot, Wintergreen Resort is peaceful and refreshing, with an endless variety of activities. It is one of the largest employers in Nelson County.
The WPOA is the homeowners association of 3,700 property owners at Wintergreen. It establishes and oversees the community standards and covenants, maintains and manages the common areas which include the roads, parks and open spaces, the Wintergreen Police Department. It also supports, through financial contributions, the Wintergreen Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.
The Nature Foundation of Wintergreen encourages and enhances understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Nelson 151 is the travel destination for Virginia wine, craft beer, hard cider, spirits and outdoor recreation lovers. Route 151 is a designated Virginia scenic byway on the sunrise side of the Blue Ridge that connects the Nelson 151 member businesses.
The Rockfish Valley Foundation works hard to preserve the natural, historical, ecological and agricultural resources of the Rockfish Valley.