Douglas A. Coleman, Executive Director
As founder and Executive Director for The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen, Doug Coleman has been protecting the heritage and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for over 30 years. His national and international conservation and education efforts through seminars, study programs, nature walks and other informative group sessions held at the Foundation have encouraged the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the area’s natural resources.
Armed with an undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia’s Bridgewater College and having done graduate work at the University of North Carolina’s Highlands Biological Station and the University of Delaware, Coleman began working with the developers of Wintergreen Resort in 1975 to create a plan to protect the 6,000 acres that were designated for conservation. He personally designed the Wintergreen community’s environmental policies and natural sciences programs, which are still in effect today.
Coleman founded the 20-year-old Spring Wildflower Symposium held annually at Wintergreen and in 1994, propelled the Wintergreen Nature Foundation into a science-based research and education non-profit organization located at Wintergreen Resort in the central Blue Ridge Mountains.
He has generated a number of awards for the Foundation, including launching the program that won the National Environmental Achievement Award for resort communities in 1987, the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society’s Windler Award for the best systematic paper of the year in 1993, and the Phoenix International Environmental Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1999.
He recently initiated The Natural Gardens of Wintergreen, a strategic effort to join the community together to support landscaping efforts that protect propagated native plant tissue collected in and around Wintergreen’s 11,000 acres. In addition, he served on the Flora of Virginia advisory committee and worked on The New Flora of Virginia, the first comprehensive illustrated flora of the Commonwealth.