Many residents of Virginia's Piedmont see the fight against Disney's America as a turning point for the region.

The campaign against the park catalyzed the smart growth movement in the DC metropolitan area, promoting reinvestment in existing communities and walkable neighborhoods connected by transit-oriented development.   

The campaign also led to a movement towards land preservation in the region, with landowners protecting over 350,000 acres of private land through voluntary conservation easements. Much of this land has been protected as ranch- and farmland, ensuring that Virginia's Piedmont will continue its rich tradition of providing crops and livestock to the rest of the state and beyond. 

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground designated a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia as a National Heritage Area. Within the area, designated “Where America Happened,” there are 9 Presidential homes and sites, 18 National and State Parks, thousands of historical sites, 57 historic towns & villages, 21 historic homes and hundreds of Civil War Battlefields available for visitors to explore.

In the last two decades in this part of Virginia we’ve been able to protect 300,000 acres of land... that’s a huge commitment by a community towards its future... The air is cleaner, the water is cleaner, there’s more land conserved, we have a better understanding of our history.
So we feel like the moments after the campaign were much more important than that moment when Disney said they were leaving.”
— Chris Miller, President, Piedmont Environmental Council

The countryside looking east towards Haymarket, VA. Photo by Sam Sheline.

The countryside looking east towards Haymarket, VA. Photo by Sam Sheline.