Blue Ridge Mountains: Good afternoon! I am the Blue Ridge Mountains region, welcoming you to our Annual Virginia Region Day Festival Reunion! Thank you for joining us today! Would everyone please take a moment to introduce themselves and tell us where you are from?
Coastal Plain: Hi everybody! I’m the Coastal Plain. Some call me the Tidewater.
Valley and Ridge: Is that because you are next to the water of the Chesapeake Bay?
Coastal Plain: Yes, that’s right! I am the furthest east you can go in Virginia! The Eastern Shore peninsula is part of me!
Appalachian Plateau: Are the Virginian islands of Chincoteague and Assateague apart of you too, Coastal Plain?
Coastal Plain: Yes! I am the region that borders the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay! That’s why seafood is such a big product in the Coastal Plain!
Fall Line: What’s a product?
Valley and Ridge: It’s something that is grown, made, or collected from a certain location.
Coastal Plain: So seafood comes from the Coastal Plain, because of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
Fall Line: Oh, I get it! Sea + food is food that comes from the sea!
Coastal Plain: Yeah! That’s right! The people who come to my region love my seafood!
Fall Line: Are there any other major products of the Coastal Plain?
Coastal Plain:Virginia peanuts, of course! They are known throughout the country. I personally think they are the best peanuts in the world. People come from miles to get my famous peanuts!
Piedmont: So it sounds like you get a lot of visitors. That makes sense. You’ve got the beach and everything!
Coastal Plain: Yeah, I am pretty famous for my beaches—lots of sun, sand, and swimming. Virginia Beach is located in me. I get lots of visitors called tourists, because of my beaches but also because I have a lot of other fun places to visit too.
Fall Line: Like what?!
Coastal Plain: Well, Bush Gardens and Water Country are pretty spectacular! I am also famous for my historical sites like Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown!
Fall Line: Cool! You ARE quite the place to make a tourist visit!
Appalachian Plateau: Is that why tourism is one of your major industries, Coastal Plain?
Coastal Plain: Yes, it is.
Fall Line: Industry? What’s an industry?
Valley and Ridge: An industry is a business that makes something or does an important job for someone else.
Coastal Plain: Shipbuilding is the business of making ships. It is another industry here in my region.
Appalachian Plateau: That makes so much sense. Since your region, Coastal Plain, borders the water, it seems only natural that you’d be the region where all the ships are built!
Coastal Plain: Good thinking! I am also known for my military bases. Again, my access right on the water, makes these military bases pivotal for landing aircraft and docking aircraft carriers.
Valley and Ridge: Aren’t you also known for being the host of the Great Dismal Swamp too, Coastal Plain?
Coastal Plain: Yes, that’s me! The Great Dismal Swamp is a big wetland area in the southern part of my region. It’s been around for a very long time. In fact, George Washington explored the Great Dismal Swamp when he was a young surveyor—before being our first president.
Appalachian Plateau: Isn’t there a secret fresh water lake hidden in the middle of the Great Dismal Swamp?
Coastal Plain: Yes, it’s Lake Drummond! It’s not secret or hidden anymore though. Lots of people know about it these days.
Appalachian Plateau: Isn’t it kind of strange though to have a fresh water lake in the middle of a swamp? I mean, how does the water stay fresh without mixing with the mucky swamp water all around it?
Coastal Plain: The reason that is so is because the lake is more elevated and higher than the swamp around it. It’s kind of like a bowl in the middle of the table. The bowl keeps the water from spilling out onto the table, because the edges of the bowl are higher than the table top.
Blue Ridge: Huh, that is quite unique. Thank you, Coastal Plain, I think you covered everything! Now moving right along…(points to Piedmont)
Piedmont: (clears throat) Ah yes, I am the Piedmont region of Virginia, stately and proud—if I say so myself. I am located between the Coastal Plain and the Blue Ridge Mountains on a map.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, you are my eastern neighbor! Now, what separates you from Coastal Plain here?
Fall Line: (squeaky voice) Me! Me! I’m the fall line! And I am the natural border that separates the Coastal Plain from the Piedmont!
Coastal Plain: You see, my land is a lot lower than the Piedmont region’s land.
Piedmont: So if water from a river is flowing from my region into Coastal Plain’s region, there’s a big drop off.
Fall Line: Kind of like a stair step! (grabs a couple of boxes to make a stair step) The fall line creates waterfalls!
Piedmont: This is good for hydroelectric power, but not so great for travel on rivers.
Fall Line: Yeah, because boats can’t travel on rivers with treacherous waterfalls.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Thank you so much, Fall Line, for stepping right in and telling us about yourself. I forgot about you!
Fall Line: Please don’t forget about me. The Fall Line is very important to Virginia’s geography.
Blue Ridge Mountains: I certainly won’t. Again, I am so sorry, Fall Line. Now back to you Piedmont.
Piedmont: Ah yes! My land is west of the Fall Line and consists of rolling hills. Many of you children (points to class) live in my region here in Sterling and Great Falls.
Coastal Plain: From what I have heard, many of the students’ parents or their friends’ parents work for the government and that makes a lot of sense, because isn’t one of your major industries federal and state government, Piedmont?
Piedmont: (clears throat to show importance) Yes, why yes, that’s quite right. The Piedmont is the location of Virginia’s state capital of Richmond. But the Piedmont also borders the federal government’s capital in Washington, DC. You see, I am very, very important.
Fall Line: Do you have any other industries that are major to you?
Piedmont: Oh yes, the horse industry has become quite popular here in the Piedmont. Not to mention farming, which has always been a big industry here even from the very beginning when the colonists started moving westward to start their farms.
Appalachian Plateau: Isn’t tobacco a major product from those farms, Piedmont?
Piedmont: Yes, it is. In fact, tobacco was the cash crop of Virginia back during the Jamestown times. It’s still a major crop that brings in a lot of money for my region even today.
Blue Ridge Mountains: I heard you’ve also become the home to many businesses that make information technology too, is that true?
Piedmont: Indeed! I keep up with the times! Always have and always will!
Fall Line: What is information technology?
Piedmont: (clears throat and looks important) Information technology is the branch of engineering that deals with he use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve and store and transmit information.
Fall Line: What does that mean?
Valley and Ridge: Think computers and cell phones, Fall Line. It’s much easier to understand that way. Don’t let all those big words scare you.
Fall Line: Ok, I won’t.
Piedmont: Well, that pretty much wraps me up. Now how about you introduce yourself, Blue Ridge Mountains. (looks to BRM)
Blue Ridge Mountains: Hello again everyone. I am the Blue Ridge Mountains region. I run through the Midwest of Virginia. My region is between the Piedmont and the Valley and Ridge.
Piedmont: Isn’t your region mountainous?
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, that is an important geographic feature about my region. You see the Blue Ridge are part of the Appalachian mountain system that runs its way down the east coast.
Appalachian Plateau:What kind of mountains are the Blue Ridge?
Blue Ridge Mountains: They are old, rounded mountains and have an elegant blue haze to them because of the trees that grow on them.
Valley and Ridge: Wow, I look at them all the time, but I never knew that!
Appalachian Plateau: Guess it has something to do with the name of your region too, Blue Ridge Mountains. I bet they are beautiful!
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, quite so. Quite so. That’s ne big reason why recreation is my major industry here in the Blue Ridge.
Fall Line: Recreation? What’s that?
Valley and Ridge: It’s pretty much an outdoor activity that people do, because they enjoy it.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Like here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, people like to hike, fish, camp, canoe, kayak…any of those outdoor activities would be considered recreation.
Piedmont: Don’t a lot of the rivers that run through my region start in yours, Blue Ridge?
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, that’s exactly right. As a matter of fact, the Blue Ridge Mountains is the source of many rivers.
Fall Line: (squeaky voice) Doesn’t our teacher, Miss O., live in the Blue Ridge Mountain region too?
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, yes, she does. Loudoun County is half in the Blue Ridge Mountain region and half in the Piedmont region. Apples are the major product of my region, and farming is the other major industry of the Blue Ridge.
Appalachian Plateau: That makes sense, because doesn’t Miss O. live on an alpaca farm of some sort?
Blue Ridge Mountains: Yes, she does! The Blue Ridge region is a rural region, so there are lots of farms and apple orchards, not many cities. Now let’s move onto you—aren’t you a farming region too? (points to Valley and Ridge).
Valley and Ridge: Yep, I sure am! Howdy everybody! I am the Valley and Ridge region of Virginia. Clearly as my name sounds, my region has two parts: the ridge, which is basically the back-end of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Valley of Virginia.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Oh, I should have mentioned that you were my neighbor. You are part of the Appalachian Mountain chain system too, aren’t you?
Valley and Ridge: Yes, the Blue Ridge Mountains region borders me on the east and Appalachian Plateau here borders me on the southwest.
Fall Line: (squeaky voice) You mentioned the Great Valley of Virginia. I’m confused. What’s a valley?
Valley and Ridge: Great question, Fall Line! A valley is a low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it.
Fall Line: Is there a river or stream flowing through your valley?
Valley and Ridge: Actually, there is. It is called the Shenandoah River.
Coastal Plain: Shenandoah. That’s sounds like an Indian tribe or something.
Valley and Ridge: Wow, great guess! The river actually is named after an Indian tribe from the area.
Coastal Plain: Yeah, here in the Coastal Plain I’ve got a lot of rivers named after Indian tribes who lived here too. We’ve got something in common!
Valley and Ridge: Very cool! Thanks for pointing that out, Coastal Plain.
Fall Line:What are your major products, Valley and Ridge?
Valley and Ridge: Beef, dairy, and poultry!
Fall Line: Woah, woah, woah! What’s beef, dairy, and poultry?
Valley and Ridge: Well, beef is the meat of a cow that we eat. Dairy means the products that come from cow’s milk like milk, cheese, and ice-cream. Poultry is just a fancy word for chicken products like drumsticks and eggs!
Fall Line: Cool! So the Valley and Ridge region provides the rest of the state with a lot of needed food to eat!
Valley and Ridge: That’s quite right! We farm for food!
Blue Ridge Mountains: Thank you, Valley and Ridge. Because of you, we won’t go hungry! We’ve got one more region to introduce, go ahead!
Appalachian Plateau: Hello folks. I am the Appalachian Plateau region of Virginia. I am located in southwest Virginia.
Fall Line: Sorry to keep interrupting with questions, but what is a plateau?
Appalachian Plateau: That’s ok, Fall Line. A plateau is a piece of elevated land that is flat on the top. You could think of it kind of like an upside down plate or bowl with a flat top.
Fall Line: Huh. (thinking) How big is your plateau?
Appalachian Plateau: Well, the plateau is much bigger than the little part that is in Virginia. It spreads out over parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. But the part that is in Virginia is in my region the Appalachian Plateau.
Fall Line: Wow, that’s a big plateau!
Piedmont: Did I hear your region is known for its coal, Appalachian Plateau?
Appalachian Plateau: You heard right! Coal is our major product here in the plateau!
Fall Line: What is coal good for?
Appalachian Plateau: Coal is good for burning for fuel—like to heat our homes and power factories and trains!
Fall Line: Where does the coal come from?
Appalachian Plateau: Coal comes from the mines in the plateau. That’s why coal mining is our major industry here. The coal miners mine the coal out of the rock, and then they load it on railway cars on trains to send it to the cities for their factories.
Fall Line: So there’s not many cities in the Appalachian Plateau?
Appalachian Plateau: No, I am pretty rural, just little towns…few people, but lots of coal mines! We are a very needed natural resource here in Virginia. Without the Appalachian Plateau, Virginia wouldn’t have coal.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Thank you so much for sharing with us today. This reunion has really helped me to see that all of the regions of Virginia need each other and fit together like puzzle pieces!
Fall Line: Like a puzzle of Virginia with 5 major pieces to represent the regions!
Valley and Ridge: We each have products and industries that the others need—not just in our state, Virginia, but all over the east coast in other states too.
Piedmont: That’s right! I am so glad we have each other!