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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 02, 2011
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginians benefit from contributions to Open Space and Recreation Conservation Fund

RICHMOND — From the Eastern Shore to southwest Virginia’s Wilderness Road, Virginia offers abundant state parks and natural areas for people to enjoy. These places showcase Virginia’s beauty, protect streams and rivers, and provide habitats for rare plants and animals, all while increasing the state’s economic vitality through tourism.

When Virginians file their state income tax returns, they have the opportunity to support these important areas through a contribution to the Open Space and Recreation Conservation Fund. The fund is used to acquire new lands for recreational use or land preservation, and to develop and maintain state park facilities. It’s also used to provide matching grants for local outdoor-recreation projects.

Taxpayers have the option of contributing all or part of their state income tax refund to the fund.

“We tremendously value every contribution to the Open Space and Recreation Conservation Fund,” said David A. Johnson, director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. “Virginians who donate help us to enhance and increase the outdoor resources available to our residents and visitors.”

Money from the fund has supported Virginia’s Natural Area Preserve System, which protects some of the state’s best examples of natural communities, and rare plants and animals. Twenty-one preserves have parking areas and trails that easily allow people to hike, study nature and learn about the environment.

Preserves that have benefited from the Open Space Fund include: Crow’s Nest in Stafford County, Bush Mill Stream in Northumberland County, North Landing River in Virginia Beach, Poor Mountain in Roanoke County and The Pinnacle in Russell County.

The money also has been used for local projects, including a trailhead at Eppington Plantation in Chesterfield County and an expansion of the Gene Dixon Memorial Park in Buckingham County.

Contributions to the fund can be made on Schedule ADJ, which accompanies the individual tax return Form 760. To choose the Open Space Conservation and Recreation Fund, filers must write in code number 68 on lines 22a-22c of the form.

Virginia taxpayers who don’t receive refunds still may contribute to the fund. For more information, contact the Virginia Department of Taxation at 804-367-8031 or visit www.tax.virginia.gov.

For questions about the Open Space and Recreation Conservation Fund, contact the Department of Conservation and Recreation at 804-786-2292, or julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov.

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