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LAND CONSERVATION

Where to get help

Conservation organizations, land trusts
and conservancies that protect land

Land conservation organizations in Virginia

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 trusts and conservancies in Virginia

OR

 

Statewide land trusts

Land Trust Phone Number
Ducks Unlimited 410-224-6620
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

  • retaining or protecting the natural or open-space values of real property
  • assuring the availability of real property for agricultural, forestal, recreational, or open-space use
  • protecting natural resources
  • maintaining or enhancing air or water quality or
  • preserving the historic, architectural or archaeological aspects of real property

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 landcon@dcr.virginia.gov. 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:

  • setting priorities through ecoregional planning
  • developing conservation strategies
  • taking direct conservation action and
  • measuring conservation success

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)

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

  • to promote land conservation efforts statewide
  • to create or build land trust capacity
  • to foster greater coordination and communication between land trusts in Virginia
  • to coordinate private land conservation efforts with those of public sector agencies thus better enabling effective statewide conservation planning and green infrastructure promotion, and
  • to promote high professional standards for land trusts in Virginia

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.

National land conservation organizations

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:

Land Conservation Organizations, Land Trusts and Conservancies in Virginia

Click on the land trust or conservation organization below for contact information. Click here to download the Virginia Land Conservation Directory, 2006.

Organization, location

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
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.

Virginia land conservation organizations, land trusts and conservancies contacts

Appalachian Trail Conference
P.O. Box 807
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807
Phone: 304-535-6331
Area of Operation: The Appalachian Mountains/Trail
Email: atc-varo@appalachiantrail.org
www.appalachiantrail.org

Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy
P.O. Box 116
Hood, VA 22723
Phone: 540-948-5444
Area of Operation: Madison and Greene Counties
www.cnpr.org/BRFC/

Blue Ridge Land Conservancy
722 First Street, Suite L
Roanoke, VA 24016-4120
Phone: 540-985-0000
Area of Operation: Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Montgomery and Roanoke counties
www.westernvirginialandtrust.org

Brandy Station Foundation
P.O. Box 165
Brandy Station, VA 22714
Area of Operation: Brandy Station Battlefields (Culpeper County)
Phone: 540-727-7718
www.brandystationfoundation.com

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
Phone: 804-370-6808
www.capitalregionland.org

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation
P.O. Box 229
Middletown, VA 22645
Phone: 540-869-2064
Area of Operation: Cedar Creek Battlefield, Middletown, Va.
www.cedarcreekbattlefield.org

Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
P.O. Box 3417
Fredericksburg, VA 22402
Phone: 540-374-0900
Area of Operation: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Counties
www.cvbt.org

Central Virginia Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 12105
Lynchburg, Va. 24506
Phone: 434-942-4320
Area of Operation: Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Nelson counties; cities of Bedford and Lynchburg
Email: info@cvalc.org
www.cvalc.org

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
1108 East Main St, Suite 1600
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-780-1392
Area of Operation: Chesapeake Bay watershed
www.cbf.org

Civil War Trust
1156 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-367-1861
Area of Operation: Civil War battlefields
www.civilwar.org

500-Year Forest Foundation
1133 Old Abert Road
Lynchburg, VA 24503-6455
Phone: 804-384-2324
Area of Operation: Virginia
Email: info@500yearforestfdn.org
www.500yearforestfdn.org

Friends of Chesterfield's Riverfront
P.O. Box 2158
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Phone: 804-796-1703
Area of Operation: James and Appomattox Riverfronts in Chesterfield County
www.chesterfieldriverfront.org

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
www.dragonrun.org

Friends of the Rappahannock
P.O. Box 7254
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
Area of Operation: Rappahannock River watershed
Phone: 540-373-3448
www.riverfriends.org

Green Fence Conservation Trust
9547-A 26th Bay St.
Norfolk, VA 23518
Phone: 757-362-0180
www.greenfence.org

Hampton Land Conservancy
1255 Big Bethel Rd.
Hampton, VA 23666
Phone: 757-851-9252
Area of Operation: Hampton and adjoining localities
www.hamptonlandconservancy.org

Historic Green Springs
P.O. Box 1685
Louisa, VA 23093-1685
Phone: 540-967-1099
Area of Operation: Green Springs Historic District, Louisa County

Historic Polegreen Church Foundation
P.O. Box 2111
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Phone: 804-730-3837
Area of Operation: Richmond battlefield area
www.historicpolegreen.org

James River Association
9 South 12th St., 4th Floor
Richmond , VA 23111
Phone: 804-788-8811
Area of Operation: James River watershed
www.jamesriverassociation.org

Kernstown Battlefield Association
P.O. Box 1327
Winchester, VA
Area of Operation: Kernstown Battlefield, Winchester and Frederick, Va.
Email: kba@kernstownbattle.org
www.kernstownbattle.org

Land Trust of Virginia
The Little White House in Atoka
7260 Rectors Land
Marshall, VA 20115
Phone: 540-687-8441
Area of Operation: Virginia
www.landtrustva.org

Mathews Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 306
Mathews, VA 23109-0306
Phone: 804-725-9685
Area of Operation: Mathews County
www.mathewslandconservancy.com

McLean Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 224
McLean, VA 22101
703-241-1095
Area of Operation: McLean area, including McLean, Great Falls, and parts of Falls Church

Middle Peninsula Land Trust
P.O. Box 585
Mathews, VA 23109-0585
Phone: 888-887-0909
Area of Operation: Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties
www.mplandtrust.org

National Committee for the New River
4 N. Jefferson Ave.
P.O. Box 1480
West Jefferson, NC 28694
Phone: 336-246-4871
Area of Operation: New River watershed
www.ncnr.org

National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-588-6000
www.preservationnation.org

New River Land Trust
P.O. Box 11057
Blacksburg, VA 24062-1057
Phone: 540-951-1704
Area of Operation: New River Watershed
www.newriverlandtrust.org

North American Land Trust
9910 Wagner's Way
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Phone: 804-338-3332
www.northamericanlandtrust.org

Northern Neck Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 125
Lancaster, VA 22503
Area of Operation: King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland and Lancaster counties
Phone: 804-462-0979
Email: nnlc@kaballero.com
www.nnconserve.org

Northern Virginia Conservation Trust
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003-2403
Phone: 703-354-5093
Area of Operation: Northern Virginia
www.nvct.org

Old Dominion Land Conservancy
621 W. Main St.
Purcellville, VA 20132
Area of Operation: Fauquier, Loudoun, Rappahannock and Stafford counties
Phone: 540-338-0077
Email: henry@odlc.us
www.odlc.us

Piedmont Environmental Council
P.O. Box 460
Warrenton, VA 20188-0460
Phone: 540-347-2334
Area of Operation: Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties
www.pecva.org

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
118 Park St SE
Vienna, VA 22180
Phone: 703-242-0315
Area of Operation: Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC
www.patc.net

Potomac Conservancy
210 S. Braddock St., Suite 101
Winchester, VA 22601
Phone: 540-667-3606
Area of Operation: Potomac watershed
www.potomac.org

Preservation Alliance of Virginia
108 E. Grace St., Suite 1
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-648-1889
Area of Operation: Virginia
Email: pav@vapreservation.org
www.vapreservation.org

Preservation Virginia
204 W. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: 804-648-1889
Area of Operation: Eastern Shore to mountains
http://preservationvirginia.org

Rivanna Conservation Society
108 5th St., SE
Charlottesville , VA 22902
Phone: 434-977-4837
Area of Operation: Rivanna River watershed
rivannariver.org

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
Phone: 434-447-7101
Email: pdc@spbc.state.va.us
www.tobaccoheritagetrail.org

Rockbridge Area Conservation Council
P.O. Box 564
Lexington, VA 24450
Phone: 540-463-2330
Area of Operation: Rockbridge County and immediate surrounding area
Email: RACC@rockbridge.net
http://organizations.rockbridge.net/racc/

Scenic Virginia
4 E. Main St., Suite 2A
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-643-8439
Area of Operation: Virginia
Email: email@scenicvirginia.org
www.scenicva.org

Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
P.O. Box 897
New Market, VA 22844
Phone: 540-740-4545
Area of Operation: Shenandoah Valley
www.shenandoahatwar.org

The Nature Conservancy of Virginia
490 Westfield Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22901-1633
Phone: 434-295-6106
Area of Operation: Virginia
www.nature.org/virginia

Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation
P.O. Box 124
Trevilians, VA 23170
Phone: 804-589-8989
Area of Operation: Trevilian Station Battlefield
www.trevilianstation.org

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
www.valleyconservation.org

Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust
P.O. Box 1114
Exmore, VA 23350-1114
Area of Operation: Accomack and Northampton counties
Phone: 757-442-5885
www.veslt.org

Virginia Outdoors Foundation
39 Garrett St., Suite 200
Warrenton, VA 20186
Phone: 540-347-7727
Area of Operation: Virginia
Email: bcabibbo@vofonline.org
www.virginiaoutdoorsfoundation.org

Waterford Foundation
P.O. Box 142
Waterford, VA 20197-0142
Phone: 540-882-3018
Area of Operation: Waterford National Historic Landmark District and northern Loudoun County
Email: info@waterfordva.org
www.waterfordfoundation.org

Williamsburg Land Conservancy
5000 New Point Road, Suite 3101
Williamsburg, VA 23188-9411
Phone: 757-565-0343
Area of Operation: The Historic Triangle - Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown
www.williamsburglandconservancy.org

Trade organizations interested in land conservation