Scenic Virginia


Virginia Viewshed Register

For several years, Scenic Virginia has been hard at work developing a new program — the first of its kind in the U.S. — called the Virginia Viewshed Register. Its purpose is to identify our Commonwealth’s most scenic areas and recognize them with an official public designation in the hope that any potential development that might mar these special places could be redirected to a more appropriate site.

This is Scenic Virginia’s priority project, and we couldn’t be prouder of our work to date. If you’d like to know how we arrived at this point, please keep reading. The following materials provide a great overview of our efforts, including the care we’ve taken at every stage to include the valuable input of visual resource professionals.

Virginia Tech – Scenic Landscape Assessment Project
In 2018, we asked Dr. Patrick A. Miller, then-Chair of Virginia Tech’s Landscape Architecture Program, to demonstrate that the characteristics of a scenic landscape could be quantified in a scientific manner — something that had never been done before. The resulting work, which visual resource professionals enthusiastically supported, contains two parts: The Virginia Scenic Landscape Assessment Project Final Report and its corresponding Scenic Landscape Assessment Project Literature Review & Archive, whish is the basis for the findings in the Report.

To view the full Report, click HERE.

To view the full Literature Review & Archive document, click HERE.

To learn more about the history of Scenic Virginia, please refer to the book Vibrant Virginia: Engaging the Commonwealth to Expand Economic Vitality, edited by Margaret Cowell and Sarah Lyon-Hill.

Chapter 11 is called Preserving Virginia’s Scenic Beauty, and it provides great information about scenic resource efforts in Virginia, including the founding of Scenic Virginia in 1998 and its maturation as a statewide conservation organization. To read Chapter 11 in its entirety, please click HERE.