Virginia announces $4.8M in land conservation grant awards
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation announced $4.8 million in grant awards from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation that will help conserve more than 6,100 acres throughout the commonwealth.
Twenty-two projects will receive funding, and they range from conservation easements on multigenerational working family farms to the acquisition and permanent protection of cave and karst resources in Southwest Virginia to urban parkland in Richmond. Several projects will expand access to public outdoor recreation.
“The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation grants program uses our groundbreaking ConserveVirginia smart map to help ensure we spend our limited resources wisely on lands with the greatest conservation value,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “I am excited to see the variety of projects that will be made possible through this round of grants as we work to preserve these spaces for future generations.”
The VLCF grant-making process incorporates ConserveVirginia, the commonwealth’s innovative land conservation strategy, which is based on “smart map” technology and draws from 21 different mapped inputs.
“Today’s announcement shows once again why the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation is Virginia’s most important land conservation program,” Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler said. “This geographically diverse array of funded projects meets high standards for protection of water quality and other natural resources and enhances equity by providing new public access to Virginia’s great outdoors.”
The 19-member VLCF board votes to approve the grants. Board members are appointed by the governor, the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The board includes the Secretary of Natural Resources, who serves as chair, and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation provides administrative support to the VLCF through the state Office of Land Conservation.
“The Department of Conservation and Recreation looks forward to working with each of the grant recipients and to seeing the exciting results of these projects,” DCR Director Clyde Cristman said.
The board approved this round of awards at its June 10 meeting.
This is the second round of awards approved by the VLCF board in 2021.
A list of first-round awards — approved on Feb. 5 — is posted on the DCR website.
|Project Name||Location||Requesting Organization||Amount||Description|
|Forkland Dairy||Cumberland County||Virginia Outdoors Foundation||$500,000||Conservation easement to protect a 906-acre farm.|
|Protected Farmland along the Rappahannock River||Culpeper County||Piedmont Environmental Council||$208,000||Conservation easement to protect 732 acres of farmland.|
|Morse Brothers Farm||Nelson County||Virginia Outdoors Foundation||$70,750||Conservation easement to protect 106 acres of farmland owned by third-generation African-American farmers.|
|Kevin Jones Farm||Stafford County||Stafford County||$46,250||Conservation easement to protect a 70-acre historic farm bordering a perennial stream.|
|Eastern Shore Forest Conservation Initiative II||Accomack County||Department of Wildlife Resources||$400,000||Acquisition of 789 acres of forestland for migratory bird stopover habitat, fishing, hiking, hunting and public access.|
|Round Hill Swamp at Doles Farm||Southampton County||Department of Forestry||$225,000||Conservation easement to protect 705 acres of exceptional forest and prime farmland.|
|Three Creek Capron||Southampton County||Department of Forestry||$200,000||Conservation easement to protect 376 acres of riparian forest habitat.|
|Rollins Tract at Bristoe Station Battlefield||Prince William County||American Battlefield Trust||$285,000||Acquisition and conservation of 22 acres located in core areas of Bristoe Station Battlefield and Manassas Station Operations Battlefield of the Civil War.|
|Fussell’s Mill Tracts at Second Deep Bottom Battlefield||Henrico County||American Battlefield Trust||$282,000||Acquisition and conservation of 52 acres located within the Second Deep Bottom, First Deep Bottom, Glendale, and Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road Civil War battlefields, two of which saw involvement of African-American soldiers in the U.S.C.T.|
|Drexel-Morrell Center||Powhatan County||Belmead on the James Inc.||$228,450||Acquisition and conservation of 56 acres of woodlands and open space, plus a historic barn, at Rosemont to be used for historical interpretation of the Drexel and Morrell schools impact on African-American life.|
|Edwards||Rockingham County||Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation||$29,550||Acquisition and conservation of the 107-acre Edwards property, part of the Civil War Battle of Port Republic known as “The Coaling.”|
|Natural Areas Protection|
|Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve Addition – Accokeek Bottomlands||Stafford County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$450,000||Acquisition of a 52-acre addition to the natural area preserve that supports forested wetlands, extensive riparian buffer and songbird habitat.|
|Pickett’s Harbor Maritime Forest & Migratory Bird Habitat Protection||Northampton County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$255,549||Acquisition of 4.5-acre addition to the natural area preserve to protect globally rare natural communities and internationally significant migratory bird habitat on the Chesapeake Bay.|
|The Cedars Natural Area Preserve – Kinzer Hollow Cave||Lee County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$204,000||Acquisition of a 77-acre addition to the natural area preserve that supports a diverse and significant array of terrestrial, aquatic, and cave and karst resources found nowhere else in Virginia.|
|The Cedars Natural Area Preserve – Northeast Addition||Lee County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$164,000||Acquisition of a 63-acre addition to the natural area preserve that supports rare plants, caves and groundwater quality of the Powell River.|
|Pickett’s Harbor Natural Area Preserve – Lake Allure Woods||Northampton County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$142,298||Conservation easement on 44 acres of protect mature maritime forests adjoining the preserve and the largest natural lake known on the Eastern Shore. The area supports one of the largest concentrations of landbirds along the Atlantic Coast each fall.|
|Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve – Northeast Addition||Roanoke County||Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Division||$109,153||Acquisition of a 77-acre addition to the natural area preserve to protect habitat for the globally rare Piratebush (Buckleya distichophylla) and buffer for prescribed fire management needed to maintain the preserve.|
|Open Space and Parks|
|South Garden International LLC Public Access Land Expansion||Gloucester County||Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority||$312,000||Acquisition of 125 acres in the community of Naxera that will expand public access to state waters.|
|Nottoway River Wildlife and Recreation Area||Sussex County||The Conservation Fund||$264,500||Acquisition of 1,597 acres for a future wildlife management area on the Nottoway River.|
|Haskins Creek Waterfront Land Acquisition in Tappahannock||Town of Tappahannock||Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority||$200,000||Acquisition of 7 acres to expand public access to Haskins Creek and the Rappahannock River.|
|Blackwater Conservation Acquisition||City of Franklin||City of Franklin||$168,500||Acquisition of 203 acres along the Blackwater River for a trailhead on the Blue Water Trail and creation of a new public park.|
|The Green at the Science Museum of Virginia||City of Richmond||Virginia Outdoors Foundation||$90,000||Acquisition of 5.2 acres to convert a parking lot at the Science Museum into an urban park.|