A Guide to the Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project, 1998-2003 Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project M 032

A Guide to the Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project, 1998-2003

A Collection in the
Thomas Balch Library
Collection Number M 032


Thomas Balch Library

Thomas Balch Library
208 West Market Street
Leesburg, Virginia 20176
Phone: (703) 737-7195
Fax: (703) 737-7195
Email: balchlib@leesburgva.gov
URL: http://www.leesburgva.gov/departments/thomas-balch-library/

© 2006 By Thomas Balch Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Teckla H. Cox

Thomas Balch Library
Collection number
M 032
Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project 1998-2003
.33 cu ft, 12 oversized items
Institute for Urban Development Research, George Washington University

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

Use Restrictions

No physical characteristics affect use of this material.

Preferred Citation

Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project (M 032), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Acquisition Information

Dorn C. McGrath, Jr., George Washington University; Joan Rokus, Leesburg, VA

Alternative Form Available

Copies of the newsletters are available online at the Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project website http://www.gwu.edu/~leip/


2006.0159; 2007.0093

Processing Information

Processed by Teckla H. Cox, 9 Feb 2007; updated by Stephanie Adams Hunter, 19 Jun 2007.

Historical Information

Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project (LEIP) was initiated 1 Oct 1998. Conducted by George Washington University, the five year project was intended to make scientific analysis available to Loudoun County's elected officials and residents to help in making decisions about public policy relating to land use. It later expanded to provide environmental information to the general public.

The project received an initial grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment, with additional funding from individuals, foundations, corporations and institutions. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors also provided substantial financial support, and the project utilized the county's Geographic Information System (GIS). The project was directed by George Washington University, with Dorn C. McGrath, Jr. as principal investigator. A steering committee consisting of local citizens, local government representatives including Eleanor Towe of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and B. J. Webb, Mayor of the Town of Leesburg provided additional oversight. Business people, representatives of foundations and institutions, and developers were also represented on the committee.

During the first year of the project, efforts focused on selecting sites to monitor, with 17 locations finally chosen. Drought conditions and rapid growth spurred interest in determining the effects of development on the environment. Among concerns were air and water quality, deforestation, and the potential for urban heat island effect from the increase in paved surfaces. Presentations and meetings were held to validate the decisions, and a newsletter and website were created to present information to the public.

In the 2000 annual report, LEIP identified a number of environmental changes: loss of forest, decline of agriculture, loss of wetlands and riparian land, and an increase in urban heat island effect. Air quality also showed an increase in pollution. The project also identified an environmental success story, an artificial wetlands created near Dulles Greenway to replace an existing one displaced by construction. Indicators showed that the wetlands helped reduce the amount of pollution in water collected there.

By 2001 LEIP had experienced a change in direction, as members were asked by the community for guidance about dealing with the county's rapid development. The forums changed to include displays and use a charette process to involve the public in discussions. At the conclusion of the project, it was hoped that LEIP's activities could be used as a model by other communities interested in assessing environmental changes.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of annual reports, newsletters, and public presentation materials. Annual reports include text and maps demonstrating the baseline and analytical work done during the report's year. Presentations were originally mounted on foam core board; they have been removed and placed in file folders, with oversized items rolled for storage.

Three large framed photographs are hung in the lower level hallway of the library: Dulles Town Center, 23 Oct 2000; Dulles Town Center, Southern Exposure, 23 Oct 2002; and Potomac Crossing Subdivision, 23 Oct 2000.

Related Material


Adjunct Descriptive Data


Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project (M 032), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Other Finding Aid


Other Finding Aid



Loudoun County Environmental Indicators Project (M 032), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Contents List

Box 1
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OMB 007
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Rolled Storage
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