Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Kenneth Johnson

Second Advisor

Gary McLouth


One hundred and fifty five miles west of the Atlantic coast a sign welcomes travelers to Greene County, Virginia. The natural landscape of the region is defined by the transition between the flattish Piedmont plateau and natural wall to the west known as the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lushly forested mountain slopes and nutrient rich upland soils have long provided economic and cultural foundations, but indiscriminate land use now offers multiple threats to the rural heritage of the County. Overtimbered mountain slopes and multiple pollutants have threatened the immune systems of the forest, leaving them vulnerable to natural pests. Soils which once provided the foundation for an agrarian culture were often depleted, and now serve as the nutrients for expansive real estate development. The common threads that once helped to define the community are disappearing in the wake of rampant population growth. While a native community struggles to find its voice amongst an influx of new settlers, the natural resources of the region are diminishing.

This paper surveys the natural and human history of the region. It is the authors intent to identify that which threatens the natural and cultural landscape of Greene County. The paper also considers the success or failure of intervention strategies aimed at solving the identified problems, while recording the response of community members to such threats.