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

Office of the Governor, Governor Mark R. Warner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 02, 2005
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Governor Warner announces $9.7 million in VLCF grants
Grants used to purchase and protect open space, parks, historic sites

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced 22 grants totaling $9.7 million dollars awarded by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, a state land conservation board. This is the largest single VLCF grant announcement since the foundation was created in 1999.

"These grants help fund projects that establish permanent conservation easements, and purchase open spaces, natural areas and parklands, farms and forests, and sites of historic or cultural significance," Governor Warner said. "These grants represent a significant investment in the preservation of our landscapes that will pay dividends for generations of Virginians."

VLCF grants require a minimum of a 50 percent match, so approved projects represent at least $19.4 million in public and private money going to land conservation across the state.

"The leadership and support of Governor Warner and the General Assembly made these grants possible," said Joseph Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the foundation's executive secretary. "Not only do these projects preserve lands, many protect our water quality and will provide access to our most scenic and historic resources."

The following list provides the project name, requesting organization and VLCF funding for the 22 approved grants. The dollar figures given reflect only the state grant amount and not the total cost of the project. Many of the projects will also provide access to the general public:

Open Space and Parks Category

Jamestown Campground & Yacht Basin (James City County Development Management): Purchase the 112-acre Jamestown Campground and the 85-acre Jamestown Yacht Basin. The waterfront property is the last privately owned, undeveloped land in the historic Jamestown area. VLCF grant: $750,000.

Rappahannock Station Park (Piedmont Environmental Council): Preserve a Civil War Battlefield as part of a new 26-acre riverfront park. The new park will provide the only public access to the Rappahannock River in Fauquier County. VLCF grant: $200,000.

Altavista/English Area Park Project (Campbell County Recreation Department): Purchase 146 acres on the Staunton River to develop a public park. Adjacent to the Staunton Riverfront Park, acquisition will preserve 167 acres along this state designated scenic river. VLCF grant: $75,000.

Paradise Creek Eco-Park (The Elizabeth River Project): Acquire 18.5 acres along Paradise Creek in the City of Portsmouth for the creation of a 40-acre urban public park. The proposed park site is the last large area of open space available for park development along the creek and will provide its only public access point. VLCF grant: $500,000.

Chincoteague Open Space Acquisition (Town of Chincoteague): Acquire 75 acres of forest and wetlands and two acres of waterfront in a rapidly developing part of town. Includes a parcel with a town trail created using funds from the Virginia Recreational Trail Program. VLCF grant: $500,000.

Tobacco Heritage Trail Phase II Land Acquisition (Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails): Acquire a 20-mile segment of the former Richmond & Danville Railroad in Halifax County. VLCF grant: $386,375.

Historic Preservation Category

Huntsberry Farm Project (Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation): Purchase 247 acres, the last large unprotected farm in Winchester's Civil War Battlefields. Located at the center of the Battle of Third Winchester fought in September 1864, the property is located in the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District and is surrounded by land already protected by the Battlefields Foundation and other partners. VLFC grant: $1,000,000.

Hutchinson Farm/South Lot Project (Waterford Foundation, Inc.): Place an easement on 25 acres of pastureland in the Waterford National Historic Landmark District. The easement would reduce the allowable density on this parcel from eight homes to one preserving Waterford's agricultural character. VLCF grant: $135,000.

Lick Run Civil War Battlefield (Civil War Preservation Trust): Purchase 134 acres of core Chancellorsville battlefield in Spotsylvania County known as Lick Run. The land listed as a high priority battlefield by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission is slated for residential development. VLCF grant: $500,000.

Kelly's Ford Battlefield Overlook Park (Brandy Station Foundation): Acquisition of eight acres buffering Kelly's Ford. The ford has historically been an important Rappahannock River crossing and is particularly significant for its role in the Battle of Brandy Station. The property is currently advertised for residential development. VLCF grant: $75,000.

Kippax Plantation (The Archaeological Conservancy): Purchase of 9.27 acres and five archaeologically significant structures known as the Kippax Plantation in Hopewell, Virginia. Built along the Occaneechi Trail trade route, the property served as a primary location for the exchange of goods between early European settlers and Native Americans in the 17th Century. VLCF grant: $205,000.

Four Mile Tree (The Virginia Outdoor Foundation): Purchase an easement on a 306-acre parcel known as Four Mile Tree. The easement would protect 3,800 feet of James River frontage, open and forested land, bald eagle nest and habitat, 18th Century Manor House, early smokehouse, walled family cemetery, and archaeological resources. VLCF grant: $500,000.

Farmlands and Forestry Category

George Property (Fauquier County PDR Program): Purchase an easement on the 274-acre Rebecca George Farm. Farm includes 52 acres of prime farmland and five acres of statewide important soil. It supports two farming families. The easement would preserve nearly a mile of stream frontage on Elk Run, part of the Cedar Run watershed, which provides public drinking water for the Town of Warrenton and large portions of Fauquier and Prince William Counties. VLCF grant: $213,500.

Oaken Brow Conservation Easement (The Nature Conservancy): A conservation easement on 589 acres in King George County. The Oaken Brow property includes 375 acres of highly productive cropland and 180 acres of wetland forests and marshland. This is a full time, working family farm raising spinach and other high-value vegetables on irrigated land. Preservation of this property is important in preserving vegetated buffers along Gingoteague Creek and the Rappahannock River. VLCF grant: $600,000.

Meadow Grove Property (Piedmont Environmental Council): An easement on a 300-acre, sixth generation farm in Rappahannock County. The working livestock farm is on the Shenandoah National Park scenic corridor and would protect at least one mile of Battle Run, a tributary within the Rappahannock River watershed. The farm is eligible for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. VLCF grant: $300,000.

Conservation Corridor Initiative (Friends of Dragon Run): Purchase 164 acres in the Dragon Run riparian corridor adjacent to 250 acres of previously protected land. The property has 35 acres of bald cypress swamp, 129 acres of timberland, and 4,700 linear feet of high-quality forested buffer along the main channel and a small tributary. VLCF grant: $194,000.

Brumley Mountain (Virginia Department of Forestry): Purchase one-third of the Brumley Mountain Property in Washington County currently owned by The Nature Conservancy. The 4,800 acres lie between two Game and Inland Fisheries Management Areas. They protect a key intact forest on the crest of Clinch Mountain that includes a series of unusual rock crevices called the Great Channels of Virginia. VLCF grant: $1,200,000. (Contains funds from Farmland/Forest and Natural Area categories)

Portobago Creek easement (The Trust for Public Land): Purchase a conservation easement on 1,320 acres adjacent to Fort A.P. Hill. This easement would conserve 1,200 acres of coastal plain hardwoods and loblolly pine, 150 acres of decreasing wetland type and 5,300 feet on intermittent streams. VLCF grant: $252,710.

Natural Area Protection Category

Fletcher Ford (The Nature Conservancy): Acquire two tracts totaling 81 acres adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's Fletcher Ford preserve on the Powell River in Lee County. This site supports a globally rare limestone woodland community and a suite of state and globally rare plant species. VLCF grant: $68,450.

Crow's Nest (Northern Virginia Conservation Trust): Acquisition of an unfragmented, regionally and globally significant coastal plain hardwood forest and extensive tidal and nontidal wetlands in Stafford County. VLCF grant: $500,000.

Clinch River/Pinnacle (The Nature Conservancy): Acquire two tracts totaling 65 acres and 4,100 feet of shoreline on the Clinch River, Russell County. Site supports state and globally rare plant and animal species and natural communities. VLCF grant: $62,375.

Bulls Pond (The Nature Conservancy): Acquire 281 acres at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore in Northampton County. The tract supports globally significant maritime forests, and forest, scrub, and wetland habitat of international significance for migratory songbirds, raptors and waterfowl. VLCF grant: $1,500,000.

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