Horizons Village is a carefully conserved ecosystem of critical wildlife habitats and important historical and cultural resources that would be put in grave danger if the Appalachian Trail South Alternate Route were approved.
The Center for Urban Habitats is conducting a wetlands assessment on Horizons Village. Click here to read the initial findings of this assessment, which describes the unique characteristics of the neighborhood’s micro-habitats and recommendation for it to be permanently protected.
- The Appalachian Trail South Alternate Route passes through the highest and rockiest mountain ridge in Horizons Village. All of our wetlands are downhill from this mountain ridge and are fed by streams and underground water coming down from the ridge.
- Excavation of the pipeline trench would likely require blasting the rock on the ridge. Our mountain bedrock contains fractures that convey water underground near the surface. Blasting the rock would destroy these fragments and lead to a substantial loss or compromise of our underground water, which feeds our wetlands.
- One of the primary sources of wetland pollution is sediment from land erosion. The clear cutting and uprooting of trees for the 125-foot construction easement on a 58-degree mountain slope will undoubtedly create a great potential for soil slides and erosion that could contaminate the surface water (and therefore the wetlands) in Horizons Village.
- Horizons Village reserves common land and continuous corridors of relatively undisturbed forest throughout the community. We set aside 65 acres of wild, undisturbed common land on the mountain above our community and follow strict rules concerned the use of this land that protect its natural deep forest environment.
- Owners of private lots between these common lands are required to maintain a 75-foot setback area on each of their property borders. Where two properties meet, this creates a 150-foot natural vegetation buffer.
- We prohibit hunting, fishing, and other destruction of native animals. Our covenants expressly prohibit deliberate injury to wildlife in Horizons Village. Bears, coyotes, foxes, deer, turkeys, snakes, birds, and other common Blue Ridge Mountain animal species roam freely on our property without risk of being trapped or killed.
- We prohibit the use of toxic chemicals, insecticides, and other poisons. Prohibitions on the use of toxic chemicals and poisons help protect the sensitive ecology necessary to support the native wildlife in Horizons Village, across the Rockfish Valley, and throughout Nelson County.
Historical and Cultural Resources
- Local historians have advised the community that the Monacan Indian tribe used the land in and around Horizons Village for hunting and likely created summer encampments near the
streams and springs found within the neighborhood’s borders. Two private lot features what we believe are Native American marker trees, and many Monacan artifacts have been found in Horizons Village in areas directly in the path of the Appalachian Trail South Alternate Route.
- Horizons Village encompasses the whole of Liza Marble Creek, from its headwaters to where it empties into the south fork of the Rockfish River. This creek is named after Liza Marble, a freed slave once attached to the nearby Elk Hill plantation. Liza Marble’s cabin was once located next to the waterway that now bears her name. Read the supplemental report on the discovery of the Liza Marble site.
- Horizons Village also lies within the proposed South Rockfish Rural Historic District. Indeed, once the district is approved, Horizons Village will lie at its heart, constituting about 20 percent of its total acreage. Construction of a pipeline in Horizons Village and Nelson County as a whole would likely disturb many cultural artifacts and hurt the historical resources of the area.