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LAND CONSERVATION

State and federal grants

Choose a grant or funding opportunity below to learn about

Virginia Land Conservation Fund (VLCF)

Website: www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia_land_conservation_foundation/index.shtml
Contact: Sarah Richardson, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 225-2048, sarah.richardson@dcr.virginia.gov

The VLCF (§10.1-1020 et.seq., http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+10.1-1020) is administered by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to conserve certain categories of land. Those categories are: open spaces and parks; natural areas; historic areas; and farmland and forest preservation. The foundation establishes, administers and makes expenditures from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, which is special, non-reverting money in the state treasury. DCR provides staff and administrative support. An interagency taskforce reviews and recommends grant applications to the VLCF. Grant awards are based on applications for 50 percent or less of total project costs pursuant to specific criteria defined in each category.

Virginia Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (VOSLPTF)

Website: http://www.virginiaoutdoorsfoundation.org/VOF_land-ptf.php
Contact: Brett Glymph, Director, Virginia Outdoors Foundation, 39 Garrett St., Suite 200, Warrenton, VA, (540) 347-7727

The VOSLPTF (§10.1-1801.1, http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+10.1-1801.1) helps landowners cover costs of conveying conservation easements and the purchase of all or part of the value of the easements. Conservation easements preserve farmland, forestland, and natural and recreational areas by restricting intensive uses, such as development and mining, which would alter the conservation values of the land. Costs that the fund may reimburse include:

  • legal costs
  • appraisal and other costs and
  • all or part of the easement's value.
  • Priority may be given to applicants who seek cost re-reimbursement only, demonstrate financial need, or cover a family-owned or -operated farm.

Land and Water Conservation Fund

Website: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/lwcf.shtml
Contact: Synthia Waymack, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 786-4379, synthia.waymack@dcr.virginia.gov

The Department of Conservation and Recreation administers a grant-in-aid program for acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. These grants are for public bodies only. Towns, cities, counties, regional park authorities and state agencies may apply for 50 percent matching fund assistance from the Virginia Outdoors Fund (VOF). When available, these funds are provided through state general fund appropriations and from federal apportionment from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (L&WCF) meant for the acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation areas. This is a reimbursement program meaning that the sponsoring agency should be capable of financing the project while requesting periodic reimbursement.

Virginia Recreational Trails Fund (VRTF)

Website: www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/trailfnd.shtml
Contact: Synthia Waymack, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 786-4379, synthia.waymack@dcr.virginia.gov

The VRTF provides grants for developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities. Funding may be provided to private organizations, local governments, other government entities, and federal agencies if teamed with private trail groups and organizations.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Website: www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/crep.shtml
Contact: Gary Moore, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 692-0070, email gary.moore@dcr.virginia.gov

The Conservation and Recreation Enhancement Program aims to improve Virginia's water quality and wildlife habitat by offering rental payments to farmers who voluntarily restore riparian buffers, filter strips and wetlands through the installation of approved conservation practices. State cost-share payments are administered through local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices. The state will reimburse up to 25 percent, not to exceed $200 per acre of restored buffer or wetland, of conservation practice costs deemed eligible by the local SWCD. There is also a 25 percent state income tax credit for out-of-pocket expenses, thus further reducing the landowner's cost. Federal reimbursement is made through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for up to 50 percent of a participant's eligible expenses for implementing best management practices (BMP), such as fencing or alternative watering systems.

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)

Website: Click here
Contact: Diane Dunaway, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), 1606 Santa Rosa Rd., Richmond, VA 23229, (804) 287-1634

The federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farms in agricultural use. Working through existing programs, the USDA partners with state, tribal or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from willing landowners. The USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair-market value of the conservation easement.

To qualify, farmland must: be privately owned; have a pending offer from a state, tribe or local farmland protection program; and contain significant amounts of prime farmland, historic or archaeological resources, or land that furthers a systematic state or local farmland protection program consistent with FRPP.

Purchase of Development Rights Programs (PDRs)

Website: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/preservation/tools.shtml
Contact: Andy Sorrell, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 102 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219, 804-786-1346, email Andrew.Sorrell@vdacs.virginia.gov

The Office of Farmland Preservation at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services helps localities establish local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs. PDRs compensate landowners who voluntarily place an agricultural conservation easement on their property.

A Model PDR Program for Virginia outlines the program elements that each local PDR program should address and has recommendations for maximizing the success of these local programs in Virginia. Twenty-two localities have established a local PDR program.

American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP)

Website: http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/
Contact: Bill Conkle, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, 804-786-5492, email bill.conkle@dcr.virginia.gov.

This federal program fosters opportunities for stewardship of historic battlefields through grants and technical assistance that support public and private partners in identifying, evaluating and planning for preservation. The ABPP promotes the preservation of significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil. The goals of the program are to: protect battlefields and sites associated with armed conflicts that influenced the course of American history; encourage and assist all Americans in planning for the preservation, management and interpretation of these sites, and; raise awareness of the importance of preserving battlefields and related sites for future generations. The ABPP focuses primarily on land use, cultural resource and site management planning, and public education. DCR is the state governmental sponsor for this National Park Service program.

Civil War Battlefield Acquisition Grants

Website: http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/LWCFAcquisitionGrants.htm
Contact: Bill Conkle, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, 804-786-5492, email bill.conkle@dcr.virginia.gov.

A portion of federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) monies are made available to help states and communities acquire and preserve threatened Civil War battlefield land. The grants are awarded on to state and local governments. Private, nonprofit organizations can apply for these funds in partnership with a state or local government agency. In Virginia, the designated agency partner is DCR.

LWCF grants are awarded through a competitive process. Each grant requires a dollar-for-dollar non-federal match. Grants are available for the fee simple acquisition of land, or for the acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land as listed by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission's 1993 Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields. Greater consideration is given to proposals for acquisition of endangered Priority I or II battlefield lands.

Historic Resources (DHR) Incentives and Grants

Website: www.dhr.virginia.gov
Contact: Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 2801 Kensington Ave., Richmond, VA 23221, 804-367-2323, ext. 137

For easements and rehabilitation tax credits: Elizabeth Tune, Manager, Office of Preservation Incentives, 804-482-6093, Elizabeth.Tune@dhr.virginia.gov.

For the Virginia Civil War Battlefield Sites Preservation Fund: David Edwards, Director of Community Services, 540-868-7030, David.Edwards@dhr.virginia.gov.

The Department of Historic Resources runs various programs that offer funding for historic preservation. Contact the DHR regarding the preservation of historic resources incentives and grants, including easements, archaeological threatened sites, local government grants, survey and planning cost-share, rehabilitation tax credits, state grants, and non-state grants. Click here for a comprehensive list of DHR's incentives and grants.

Clean Water Financing and Assistance - Land Conservation Loan Program

Website: www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx
Contact: Walter Gills, Program Manager, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, 804-698-4133, Walter.Gills@deq.virginia.gov

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), on behalf of the State Water Control Board (SWCB), manages the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF). DEQ receives applications and provides funding recommendations to the SWCB. The Virginia Resources Authority serves as the financial manager of the fund. Through the VCWRLF, loans may be provided to localities or holders, as defined in §10.1-1009 of the Code of Virginia, for acquiring fee simple title or permanent conservation easements that (1) protect or improve water quality and prevent the pollution of state waters, and (2) protect the natural or open-space values of the property or assure its availability for agricultural, forestal, recreational or open-space use.