Scenic Virginia, Inc.
4 E Main Street, Suite 2A
Richmond VA 23219
Mission Statement Scenic Virginia is the only statewide conservation organization dedicated solely to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of the scenic beauty of our Commonwealth, with a particular focus on the preservation of significant views and vistas.
Web and Social Media
Country Lane by Richard Koth (2017 Virginia Vistas Photo Contest Best in Show)
Multi-Media Comments Our annual Virginia Vistas Photo Contest winners are revealed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in July. Our Honorable Mention photos and other submissions are featured weekly on the editorial page of the Saturday Richmond Times-Dispatch. These are posted to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
CEO/Executive Director L. Leighton Powell
Board Chair Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Scenic Virginia
Contact Information
Address 4 E Main Street, Suite 2A
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone 804 643-8439
Fax 866 499-8439
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1998
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $125,000.00
Mission Scenic Virginia is the only statewide conservation organization dedicated solely to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of the scenic beauty of our Commonwealth, with a particular focus on the preservation of significant views and vistas.
This year Scenic Virginia: 
- Made significant progress on our Virginia Viewshed Register project, an inventory of our Commonwealth's most scenic places that is the first of its kind in the nation. The first phase -- a new website at -- launches in 2018.
- Continued our work to preserve scenic and historic vistas, including The View That Named Richmond, historic Route 5, and the very special historic viewshed at the birthplace of America at Jamestown. Re: Jamestown, despite the objection of every credible preservation group, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the permit for this unnecessary, viewshed-marring utility transmission tower project. In September we filed an amicus brief petition in support of the lawsuit filed by Preservation Virginia and the National. The court approved our petition in October.
- Hired a full-time Programs & Outreach Coordinator, Anne L. Weidhaas, to support long-time Executive Director Leighton Powell. Annie is developing Scenic Virginia's first-ever organizational Sustainability Plan, made possible through the generous funding of the Beirne Carter Foundation.
- Promoted scenic beauty across the Commonwealth through our 2017 Virginia Vistas Photo Contest.
- Honored excellence in scenic preservation at the 2017 Scenic Awards Gala Reception & Ceremony at the Virginia State Capitol on September 15. and recognized five very worthy recipients: Cessie and Bill Howell (The Honorable and Mrs. Bill Howell), the Land Trust of Virginia, the Virginia Big Tree Program, John D. Mitchell, and the Virginia Capital Trail.
Visit our website at for a full list of this year's accomplishments. 
The following would greatly benefit the work of Scenic Virginia:
- Volunteer outdoors enthusiasts willing to help us identify our Commonwealth's most scenic views and vistas by uploading images at
- Funding for Phase 2 of the Virginia Viewshed Register/Areas of Outstanding Scenic Beauty project.
- A new lightweight, easily transportable laptop for use at meetings and conferences.
- New branded conference booth exhibit materials, including a table cover, programmable backdrop, and brochures/giveaways.
- Funding to develop a new Scenic Resources Toolkit, an online compendium of creative solutions and best practices for use by individuals, organizations, and local officials, as well as suggestions for scenic resource topics to be included.
Background Scenic Virginia was founded in 1998 by Richmonder Hylah H. Boyd following a bruising fight in the General Assembly in which the billboard industry secured the right to cut down mature hardwood trees in front of billboards. Since that time, Scenic Virginia has emerged as a seasoned and sensible voice for the Commonwealth's scenic and natural resources. Believing that all -- young and old, rich and poor -- deserve beauty in their lives, Scenic Virginia works with citizens, government officials, localities, businesses, and other conservation groups to promote the value of aesthetics to economic development and tourism.
CEO Statement
From Executive Director Leighton Powell:
The Commonwealth of Virginia boasts some of the most beautiful places on Earth. What is remarkable -- astonishing, really -- is the depth and breadth of the scenic beauty found here. Scenic Virginia exists to remind Virginians that this beauty exists and that care must be taken to preserve it. Threats abound at every turn, and we must be ever-vigilant to prevent the "death by a thousand cuts" that results from poor planning. We know that scenic beauty and business can -- and should -- co-exist because scenic beauty is an essential element of our quality of life. 
Board Chair Statement

From President Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle: I’m a Scenic Virginia supporter because I believe in our mission of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the scenic beauty of our Commonwealth. I’m a Scenic Virginia Trustee because I appreciate the organization’s approach. While we are certainly visible on many issues, there are many times in which we take a behind-the-scenes role. We work quietly – using our large network of friends -- to find effective solutions to tricky situations before they erupt into shrill discourse. It’s an unusual approach, but it works, and our Board wouldn’t want it any other way.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Scenic Virginia is always seeking volunteers across the Commonwealth to be our eyes and ears regarding scenic matters. Activities include Board service, alerting us to scenic threats, and identifying scenic vistas through our new Virginia ViewFinders program. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle
Company Affiliation Scenic Virginia
Term Nov 2017 to Dec 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle
Company Affiliation Garden Club of Virginia
Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Charlotte D. Buttrick Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Frank Lingo Calhoun Esq.Retired, U.S. DOT
Carthan F. Currin IIIConsultant
Richard G. Gibbons FASLALandscape Architect
Cecelia S. Howell Board Chair EmeritaCommunity Volunteer
R. Philip Irwin Caledonia Farm
David R. Kenerson Jr.Virginia Global Management
Kathleen S. Kilpatrick Retired
Ellen LeCompte Brownell Travel
Lisa Dickinson Mountcastle Community Volunteer
James Edward Rich Jr.Shell Oil (retired)
Barry W. Starke FASLA, AICPEarth Design
The Hon. Sally H. Thomas Albemarle Board of Supervisors (retired)
Rab Fleming Thompson SC League of Conservation Voters
Cabell Goolsby West Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 85
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
John B. Adams Jr.Bowman Distilling
Eugenia Anderson-Ellis Church Hill Association
William M. Beck Beck's Antiques
Hylah H. Boyd Scenic Virginia founder
John P. Bradshaw Jr.Roanoke businessman
Lynn Crump ASLAVA Department of Conservation & Recreation
Deborah A. Dull Esq.Federal Highway Administration (retired)
Ray A. Foote National Parks Conservation Association
Alexander M. Macaulay Esq.Macaulay & Burtch
H. Edward Mann Self-employed
Katherine T. Mears The Garden Club of Virginia
Pamela Brown Michael William & Mary
John W. Newell Former Mayor of Ashland
Nancy K. Parker Virginia Beach City Council
Charles H. Seilheimer Jr.Chair, Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Katherine E. Slaughter Esq.Southern Environmental Law Center (retired)
Judith Boyd Terjen The Garden Club of America
John J. Zeugner AICP
From Executive Director Leighton Powell: Scenic Virginia is currently redesigning its Governance materials, which include a new Board Nominating process and new Board Handbook for Trustees and Advisory/Honorary Board members. We expect to complete these materials in early 2018.
Executive Director
Executive Director L. Leighton Powell
Experience Leighton Powell has served as Scenic Virginia's Executive Director since April 2000. 
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 25
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2014
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Scenic Virginia collaborates on a regular basis with a number of national, state, and local organizations.
Our Virginia partners include Preservation Virginia, The Garden Club of Virginia, Virginia Conservation Network, Virginia League of Conservation Voters, VaULT (Virginia United Land Trusts), Keep Virginia Beautiful, James River Association, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, VDOT, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
National/regional organizations include Scenic America, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, and Chesapeake Conservancy, 
Local collaborations include local GCV and Federated Garden Clubs, tourism DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations), the Route 5 Corridor Coalition, the Capital Trail Foundation, and many others.
Virginia Conservation Network1998

We are developing a Virginia Viewshed Register program to confer official state recognition on significant views and vistas in the Commonwealth.

Description Presentation of the Annual Scenic Awards, with a particular emphasis on projects that can be replicated in other areas of the Commonwealth. Scenic Virginia presents awards in the following categories: Scenic Hero, Scenic Lands Preservation, Scenic Water Corridor Preservation, Creative Scenic Enhancement, Scenic Tourism, and recognition of new State Scenic Rivers. - Presentation of the Annual Virginia Vistas Photo competition, which promotes the beautiful vistas in the Commonwealth and reminds Virginians of how lucky we are to live here.

We monitor legislation during the annual General Assembly Session in Richmond and year-round at the local level to ensure that citizens are aware of the benefits of scenic beauty, as well as potential threats.

Description Our annual photo contest serves two primary purposes: 1) It reminds Virginians of the scenic beauty around us, and 2) it provides Scenic Virginia with an enviable databank of beautiful photographs from all regions of our Commonwealth.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $3,500.00
Description The in-development Scenic Resources Toolbox will serve as an online compendium of best practices and creative solutions for scenic issues across a variety of fields and disciplines (e.g., Landscape Architecture, Planning, Government Administration, Law, etc.). We are currently working with Virginia Tech to develop the structure and format. Once established, we will continue enhancing and editing the information so that the most current and relevant information is available to citizens, organizations, and administrators.
Budget $25,000.00
Long Term Success Currently, Virginia has no one-stop-shopping online resource for scenic resources. The Scenic Resources Toolbox fills that void by offering citizens, planners, and local administrators a site for viewing tried and tested solutions. 
CEO/ED/Board Comments
From Executive Director Leighton Powell: Since its inception in 2008, our Virginia Vistas Photo Contest has evolved into one of our most popular programs. Each summer the Richmond Times-Dispatch reveals that year's Winners in Sunday Flair. Honorable Mentions and other entries run on the Saturday edition of the Editorial Page.
In 2017, we worked with the Virginia Tourism Corporation toward additional promotion of the photo contest. Soon we will make our impressive databank of photos available to media outlets around the Commonwealth. 
Each year's Winners and Honorable Mention photos are available for review in the Gallery section of Scenic Virginia's website. Note card sets of each year's Winners are available for purchase. 
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $125,000.00
Endowment Value $25,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$108,106$90,870$73,188
Administration Expense$32,564$53,711$32,210
Fundraising Expense$0$3,875$7,165
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.281.081.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%61%65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%3%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$117,403$82,151$71,223
Current Assets$94,913$69,548$62,621
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$370$4,616$5,500
Total Net Assets$117,033$77,535$65,723
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities256.5215.0711.39
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2016View
VDACS Charitable Solicitation Approval 07-25-17View
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 prepared by Elliott Davis, LLC/PLLC
  • Financial statements prepared internally by the organization.
  • Financial information provided by the Form 990, with supplemental information provided by the financial statements.