Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee

The Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee (TESC) has recently re-formed as a merging of the Tree and Beautification Committee and the Committee on the Environment. The TESC is currently looking for members to join this newly revived committee! To submit an application, please click here.

The Tree & Environment Sustainability Committee will be defining its mission and activities in the coming months. The vision of the committee is to establish partnerships with citizens, business owners, and other stakeholders to plan and implement measurable environmentally responsible and sustainable initiatives for Purcellville and our nation.

Focus Areas:
  • Tree ordinance development and oversight
  • Town-side and watershed cleanup events
  • Community gardening and tree planting projects (see below for the project with Virginia Trees for Clean Water)
  • Sustainability Ideas
  • Nature preserve and trail enhancement education series
  • Paint Purcellville Green/Hail to the Trail (scroll down for more information about this annual event)
  • Rain Barrel Program
  • Energy saving audit and mitigation
  • Electronic and hazardous waste
  • Recycling and certified bottled water free zone
  • Workshops and education on environmental sustainability

Virginia Trees for Clean Water: Restoring the Riparian Buffer at the Chapman DeMary Trail

South Fork Catoctin Creek at the Chapman DeMary Trail

The Town of Purcellville is pleased to announce that it is a recipient of the annual Virginia Trees for Clean Water grant issued by the Virginia Department of Forestry. The project is to restore the riparian buffer at the Chapman DeMary Trail, a 10-acre area that runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Town of Purcellville holds the conservation easement for this privately-owned property. The native trees we planted included: black cherry, river birch, sycamore, and willow oak.

What is a Riparian Buffer?

According to the Virginia Department of Forestry website, a riparian buffer is a “streamside forest” with plants that line waterways to protect them from the impacts of surrounding land use. The functions of riparian buffers include:

  • Slowing flood waters and reducing the volume of water through root absorption.
  • Improving water quality by filtering runoff and promoting sediment deposition.
  • Allowing water storage in plant roots and providing pathways to groundwater layers.
  • Providing canopy cover which shades and cools the stream, improving habitat conditions for instream organisms (fish, salamanders, frogs, etc.). This shade also provides relief from extreme heat for terrestrial animals.
  • Providing habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals. These buffers also act as corridors to similar habitat, providing food, shelter and nesting sites.

Riparian areas also provide great opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, bird-watching, picnicking and camping.

Thank you for your help!

The Town hosted two community planting days for this project. The first was on April 29, 2018, and the second was on March 16, 2019. Over the two planting days, more than 100 volunteers joined us to plant nearly 200 seedlings that will help restore the riparian buffer. Check the back of the kiosk at the Chapman DeMary Trail to learn more about riparian buiffers and native plants.


Annual Hail to the Trail Scheduled for October 20, 2019

Join the Town of Purcellville's Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee at the Chapman DeMary Trail on Sunday, October 20, 2019 for a fun day in nature! From 1 to 4 p.m., explore this 10-acre area, considered to be the last stand of old-growth forest in the Town of Purcellville, go on guided nature walks, enjoy hands-on activities, meet local nature experts, see live animals with the Wildlife Ambassadors, enjoy live music, turn in your plastic bags to be recycled, get gluten-free treats, help plant trees, participate in the Town's celebration of Arbor Day, and tour a Town water facility. Get the latest information on the Hail to the Trail Facebook page at:

 About the Chapman DeMary Trail

The beauty of the Chapman DeMary Trail encourages exploration of the outdoors and emphasizes stewardship in everyday activities. The trail is supported by The Nature Generation, Loudoun Valley High School, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville. The Town of Purcellville holds the conservation easement for the 10-acre area. The Chapman DeMary Trail, located in what is considered to be the last stand of old growth forest in the Town of Purcellville, provides amazing hands-on environmental learning and stewardship opportunities to thousands of residents, visitors, students, and scouts!  It is located at 355 North Hatcher Avenue (behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road) in Purcellville, Virginia. Read even more about the trail at