Similar to public agencies that conserve land, there are many private, nonprofit conservation organizations that do so. Each typically serves a particular region of the state and/or exists for a particular purpose, such as habitat protection or historical preservation. Organizations focusing mainly on land protection are typically called land trusts or conservancies.
|Land Trust||Phone Number|
|Land Trust of Virginia||540-687-8441||Preservation Virginia||804-648-1889|
|The 500-Year Forest Foundation||434-384-2324|
|The Conservation Fund||703-525-6300|
|The Nature Conservancy||434-295-6106|
|Trust for Public Land||202-543-7552|
|Virginia Outdoors Foundation||540-347-7727|
Nonprofit organizations in Virginia qualified to accept land for protection are defined (pursuant to the Virginia Conservation Easement Act, §§ 10.1-1009 through 10.1-1016, (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+10.1-1009) as being a charitable corporation, charitable association, or charitable trust that has been declared exempt from taxation pursuant to 26 U.S.C.A. § 501 (c) (3) and the primary purposes or powers of which include
These qualified land conservation organizations are defined as "holders" in the act, essentially meaning they are eligible to acquire and hold a conservation easement by gift, purchase, devise or bequest. These groups must have had a principal office in the Commonwealth for at least five years. Until such a group meets these requirements, it may co-hold a conservation easement with another holder that meets the requirements.
In addition to holding easements, many land trusts and conservancies buy or are given land. And there are many conservation organizations that do not actually hold easements or acquire land. They work instead to educate and promote use of the various land conservation tools.
For information about how to start a land trust or conservancy, contact Office of Land Conservation, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, Va. 23219, 804-225-2048; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, see www.lta.org for information provided by the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization that helps local land trusts by providing tools and resources needed to get started and improve.
Land conservation organizations conduct their own initiatives to identify and target priority lands to be preserved in their own regions. One example of this is The Nature Conservancy's Conservation by Design initiative. This initiative lays out a conservation approach comprised of four fundamental components:
The New River Land Trust's effort to identify and develop an interconnected network of riverfront properties and islands that, in total, make up a "blueway" is another excellent such example. This blueway will offer protection of prime scenic properties along the New River while offering the public direct waterfront access for canoeing, fishing, etc. These and many other private efforts play major roles in conserving open-space land.
For more information about particular land conservation programs and initiatives, contact the individual land conservation organization listed in Land conservation organizations, land trusts, and conservancies in Virginia.
Virginia's United Land Trusts (VaULT) organized in 2000 to address the growing interest and number of organizations involved in land conservation. It represents about 30 private land conservation organizations in Virginia. The group's goals are
For information about VaULT, contact Nikki Rovner, Virginia's United Land Trusts, at the Nature Conservancy, 530 E. Main St., Suite 800, Richmond, VA 23219.
There are numerous national and regional land conservation groups as well. Some focus on particular resources and some provide generic information useful to all land conservation organizations. Here's a list of some of those groups:
Click on the land trust or conservation organization below for contact information. Click here to download the Virginia Land Conservation Directory, 2006.
Appalachian Trail Conference, Harpers Ferry, W. Va.
Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy, Madison, Va.
Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, Roanoke, Va.
Brandy Station Foundation, Brandy Station, Va.
Capital Regional Land Conservancy, Richmond, Va.
Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Middletown, Va.
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, Stafford, Va.
Central Virginia Land Conservancy, Lynchburg, Va.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Richmond, Va.
Civil War Preservation Trust, Washington, DC
Ducks Unlimited, North Charleston, S.C.
500-Year Forest Foundation, Lynchburg, Va.
Friends of Chesterfield's Riverfront, Chesterfield, Va.
Friends of Dragon Run, Gloucester, Va.
Friends of the Rappahannock, Fredericksburg, Va.
Green Fence Conservation Trust, Norfolk, Va.
Hampton Land Conservancy, Hampton, Va.
Historic Green Springs, Louisa, Va.
Historic Polegreen Church Foundation, Mechanicsville, Va.
James River Association, Richmond, Va.
Jamestown Compact Land Trust, Middleburg, Va.
Kernstown Battlefield Association, Winchester, Va.
Land Trust of Virginia, Leesburg, Va.
Mathews County Land Conservancy, Mathews, Va.
McLean Land Conservancy, McLean, Va.
Middle Peninsula Land Trust, Mathews, Va.
National Committee for the New River, West Jefferson, N.C.
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C.
New River Land Trust, Blacksburg, Va.
Northern American Land Trust, Chesterfield, Va.
Northern Neck Land Conservancy, Kilmarnock, Va.
Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Annandale, Va.
Old Dominion Land Conservancy, Purcellville, Va.
Piedmont Environmental Council, Warrenton, Va.
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Vienna, Va.
Potomac Conservancy, Arlington, Va.
Preservation Alliance of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
Preservation Virginia, Richmond, Va.
Rivanna Conservation Society, Palmyra, Va.
Roanoke River Rails to Trails, Inc., South Hill, Va.
Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, Lexington, Va.
Scenic Virginia, Richmond, Va.
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, New Market, Va.
The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Office, Charlottesville, Va.
Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation, Trevillian, Va.
Valley Conservation Council, Staunton, Va.
Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust, Exmore, Va.
Virginia Outdoors Foundation, Richmond, Va.
Waterford Foundation, Waterford, Va.
Williamsburg Land Conservancy, Williamsburg, Va.
Appalachian Trail Conference
P.O. Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807
Area of Operation: The Appalachian Mountains/Trail
Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy
P.O. Box 116
Hood, VA 22723
Area of Operation: Madison and Greene Counties
Blue Ridge Land Conservancy
722 First Street, Suite L
Roanoke, VA 24016-4120
Area of Operation: Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Montgomery and Roanoke counties
Brandy Station Foundation
P.O. Box 165
Brandy Station, VA 22714
Area of Operation: Brandy Station Battlefields (Culpeper County)
Capital Region Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 17306
Richmond, VA 23226
Area of Operation: Richmond City and Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent and Charles City counties
Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation
P.O. Box 229
Middletown, VA 22645
Area of Operation: Cedar Creek Battlefield, Middletown, Va.
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
P.O. Box 3417
Fredericksburg, VA 22402
Area of Operation: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Counties
Central Virginia Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 12105
Lynchburg, Va. 24506
Area of Operation: Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Nelson counties; cities of Bedford and Lynchburg
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
1108 East Main St, Suite 1600
Richmond, VA 23219
Area of Operation: Chesapeake Bay watershed
Civil War Trust
1156 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Area of Operation: Civil War battlefields
Friends of Chesterfield's Riverfront
P.O. Box 2158
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Area of Operation: James and Appomattox Riverfronts in Chesterfield County
Friends of Dragon Run
P.O. Box 882
Gloucester, VA 23061-0882
Area of Operation: Dragon Run watershed: King and Queen, Gloucester, Middlesex, and Essex Counties
Friends of the Rappahannock
P.O. Box 7254
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
Area of Operation: Rappahannock River watershed
Green Fence Conservation Trust
9547-A 26th Bay St.
Norfolk, VA 23518
Hampton Land Conservancy
1255 Big Bethel Rd.
Hampton, VA 23666
Area of Operation: Hampton and adjoining localities
Historic Polegreen Church Foundation
P.O. Box 2111
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Area of Operation: Richmond battlefield area
James River Association
9 South 12th St., 4th Floor
Richmond , VA 23111
Area of Operation: James River watershed
Land Trust of Virginia
The Little White House in Atoka
7260 Rectors Land
Marshall, VA 20115
Area of Operation: Virginia
Mathews Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 306
Mathews, VA 23109-0306
Area of Operation: Mathews County
Middle Peninsula Land Trust
P.O. Box 585
Mathews, VA 23109-0585
Area of Operation: Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties
National Committee for the New River
4 N. Jefferson Ave.
P.O. Box 1480
West Jefferson, NC 28694
Area of Operation: New River watershed
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
New River Land Trust
P.O. Box 11057
Blacksburg, VA 24062-1057
Area of Operation: New River Watershed
North American Land Trust
9910 Wagner's Way
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Northern Neck Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 125
Lancaster, VA 22503
Area of Operation: King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland and Lancaster counties
Northern Virginia Conservation Trust
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003-2403
Area of Operation: Northern Virginia
Piedmont Environmental Council
P.O. Box 460
Warrenton, VA 20188-0460
Area of Operation: Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
118 Park St SE
Vienna, VA 22180
Area of Operation: Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC
210 S. Braddock St., Suite 101
Winchester, VA 22601
Area of Operation: Potomac watershed
204 W. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Area of Operation: Eastern Shore to mountains
Rivanna Conservation Society
108 5th St., SE
Charlottesville , VA 22902
Area of Operation: Rivanna River watershed
Roanoke River Rails to Trails, Inc., and Tobacco Heritage Trail
P.O. Box 150
South Hill, VA 23970
Area of Operation: Brunswick, Charlotte, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties
Rockbridge Area Conservation Council
P.O. Box 564
Lexington, VA 24450
Area of Operation: Rockbridge County and immediate surrounding area
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
P.O. Box 897
New Market, VA 22844
Area of Operation: Shenandoah Valley
The Nature Conservancy of Virginia
490 Westfield Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22901-1633
Area of Operation: Virginia
Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation
P.O. Box 124
Trevilians, VA 23170
Area of Operation: Trevilian Station Battlefield
Valley Conservation Council
17 Barristers Row
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: 540-886-3541 or 877-216-1782
Area of Operation: Allegheny, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Warren
Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust
P.O. Box 1114
Exmore, VA 23350-1114
Area of Operation: Accomack and Northampton counties
P.O. Box 142
Waterford, VA 20197-0142
Area of Operation: Waterford National Historic Landmark District and northern Loudoun County
Williamsburg Land Conservancy
5000 New Point Road, Suite 3101
Williamsburg, VA 23188-9411
Area of Operation: The Historic Triangle - Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown