VOF protected more than 1 acre every hour in 2020

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An easement in James City County adds 1,241 acres of wooded and open marshland to protected lands along the Chickahominy, a State Scenic River.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation protected 10,300 new acres of open space in 34 counties and cities last year—a rate of more than one acre every hour. 

Most projects protected family farms and forests in all corners of the state. The largest project was a 1,211-acre property in James City County that protects pristine waterfowl habitat along the Chickahominy River. 

Several projects created new or expanded opportunities for public recreation, including a 39-acre property with trails along the Maury River in the City of Lexington, the 3-acre site of the Urbanna Oyster Festival in Middlesex County, and a 5-acre parcel in the City of Petersburg that helps to complete the Appomattox River Trail. 

VOF also awarded $4,417,595 in grants for conservation projects from its Forest CORE Fund and Preservation Trust Fund programs. These grants aided in the acquisition and protection of 5,839 acres of open space mostly for public use and funded the creation and restoration of trails, stream buffers, and outdoors-oriented community centers. Forest CORE projects completed in 2020 include the restoration and enhancement of  Pittsylvania’s Wayside Parkthe acquisition of land in Charlotte County for a new State Forest, the expansion of Chestnut Ridge Preserve in Giles County, and the permanent protection of 243 acres of high-quality forest within the McAfee Knob viewshed, one of the most photographed vistas of the Appalachian Trail. 

Since 1966, VOF has protected more than 850,000 acres of open space in 111 counties and cities, making it one of the largest land conservation organizations in the nation.

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2 Comments

  1. I own a property that sits on .86 acres. I want to portion of the yard that is forest to never be developed, even if the property is worth less because of that. If you have ideas on how to do this I could use the advice.

    1. Hi Maria, the tools available to you would depend on the conservation values of the property (habitat, water quality, public access, etc.). VOF typically works on projects that have extensive public conservation benefits. You may want to start by contacting your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office. VCE staff have wide-ranging expertise in the various tools and techniques for protecting natural resources. They can also direct you to other organizations that specialize in specific tools.

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