The Environmental & Equestrian Tradition at Montpelier with Kat Imhoff

The Environmental & Equestrian Tradition at Montpelier: How James Madison’s forward-thinking conservation ethic and the duPont legacy have shaped the 2,600-acre plantation

Kat Imhoff, President of The Montpelier Foundation, will discuss how James Madison, the 4th President of the United States and “Father of the Constitution, may also be regarded as the “forgotten father of American environmentalism.” In the book, Founding Gardeners, bestselling-author Andrea Wulf explains that Madison was intent on convincing Americans to stop destroying forests and to protect soil through modern agricultural practices. He believed that for the nation to survive, Americans had to protect our environment and natural resources.

As a result of Madison’s vision, Montpelier is home to some of the only “old-growth” forest on the east coast—200 acres of unspoiled forest protected as part of over 800 acres of conservation and historic easements at Montpelier.

Nearly a century after Madison’s speech about environmental protection, a young lady, often referred to as a “tomboy” because of her penchant for the outdoors, Marion duPont Scott took over the stewardship of Montpelier. She built an equestrian tradition that still flourishes—including the annual steeplechase races that have been held at Montpelier since 1934, ongoing horse training operations.

Today, The Montpelier Foundation honors Madison’s environmental leadership as well as the rich equestrian heritage of the property. Part of this vision is restoring, to the best of our ability, the historic landscape that Madison designed as part of his vision for the landscape.

$5 admission, free to NSLM members.

Please RSVP to Anne Marie Barnes, the Clarice & Robert H. Smith Educator, at, 540-687-6542 ext. 25


About Kat Imhoff

As President and CEO of The Montpelier Foundation, Kat Imhoff is among the first generation of women to oversee all aspects of a national historic site. Under her leadership, Montpelier has become a leader in the research of slavery in the Early Republic and garnered the attention of patriotic philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, whose $10 million gift in 2014 jumpstarted efforts to reconstruct the landscape of slavery at Montpelier and fully furnish James Madison’s historic home.

Prior to joining Montpelier in January 2013, Kat enjoyed a five-year tenure as State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana, where she led a successful $90 million effort to conserve an ecologically intact unit of 310,000 acres of land in the Northern Rockies that serves as an environmentally-protected migratory corridor extending from Wyoming across Montana to Canada.

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  • 2:00pm (General Admission)

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  • By Appointment Only

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  • Address: 102 The Plains Road,
    Middleburg, VA 20117

  • Mailing Address: PO Box 1335, Middleburg, VA 20118

  • Phone: (540) 687-6542

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