About Virginia ViewFinders

The Commonwealth of Virginia is a beautiful and historic place, home to incredible mountains and valleys, peaceful creeks, mighty rivers, the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, and diverse vegetation and wildlife. Scenic Virginia is working to identify the most treasured scenic vistas across the state, but we need your help.

Who are Virginia ViewFinders?

Our statewide ViewFinders volunteers explore Virginia and capture images of scenic places. By uploading these images to the ViewFinders website for others to view and vote on, they help Scenic Virginia identify the views that the general public considers most deserving of recognition and preservation.

So, what’s the point of the Virginia ViewFinders program?
Actually, there are several! (Thanks for asking, and bear with us because it’s a cool concept!)

First, the ViewFinders project will provide Scenic Virginia with valuable information about the types of scenic resources – e.g., trees, mountains, water – that Virginians treasure the most. We also hope to identify other elements that detract from scenic beauty.

Next, the images collected through the ViewFinders program will inform the development of criteria for an inventory of scenic views and vistas. The nomination process will be competitive, and the resulting “Virginia Viewshed Register” will be an official list of our Commonwealth’s most extraordinary scenic areas.

Finally, in calling statewide attention to Virginia’s amazing scenic beauty, we hope to generate enthusiasm and support for good planning practices at the local level, Scenic Virginia wants to encourage each locality to identify the scenic places that its citizens love best and determine local actions necessary to preserve these special places.

Can I submit photographs and vote even if I’m not from Virginia?
Absolutely. We value every person’s opinion on what is scenic and what you value protecting.

Can I count my work as official volunteer hours?
Yes. We are developing a process to make your Virginia ViewFinders hours an official volunteer service activity. Please contact us at email@scenicvirginia.org with the subject line ViewFinders Volunteering to learn more about securing authorized recognition for your time.

Do I need to submit high-quality images?
No! Images should be clear, but this is not a photography contest, meaning your images won’t be judged on composition or quality.

The ViewFinders program is looking for images of pure scenic beauty, not digitally altered shots or those that rely on photographic elements such as sunbursts or blue skies for effect. This is an important distinction because the images submitted here will provide us with valuable information for evaluating scenic views across the state.

By the way, Scenic Virginia hosts an annual Virginia Vistas Photo Contest that kicks off each April 1. Photos submitted to our Contest are judged on the merits of the photo. Learn more by visiting www.scenicvirginia.org/photo-contest.

What is Scenic Virginia?

Scenic Virginia is the only statewide conservation nonprofit dedicated solely to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the scenic beauty of our Commonwealth, with a particular focus on the preservation of Virginia’s most significant vistas and viewsheds. We believe that scenic beauty is good for business and essential for the soul. Strong scenic resources are vital to the cultural, physical, economic, and emotional health of our Commonwealth.

Learn more about Scenic Virginia by visiting our website at www.ScenicVirginia.org and by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!