Virginia Outdoors Plan
The Virginia Outdoors Plan is the state’s comprehensive plan for land conservation, outdoor recreation and open-space planning. The document helps all levels of government and the private sector meet needs pertaining to those matters.
The plan is required for Virginia to participate in the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program. In addition, it provides guidance for the protection of lands through the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.
The 2013 edition is the 10th to be produced and the first to be completely paperless. It features a custom-built online mapping tool called VOP Mapper.
Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey
The plan’s foundation is the Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey. DCR conducts the survey every five years to gauge the level at which Virginians are participating in specific outdoor recreation activities. In 2011, the survey was administered by the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research. It was sent to nearly 14,000 adults, and about 3,100 responded.
Download an executive summary of the 2011 Virginia Outdoors Demand Survey, or read the actual survey.
Search a database of the most popular activities and most-needed facilities.
Public input meetings
Between December 2011 and March 2012, DCR planners conducted 42 meetings across the state to gather public input for the plan. Four-hundred eighty citizens attended the meetings. Their input, in addition to survey responses and feedback from regional planners, was used to develop the plan’s recommendations.
2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan
Download the entire document (60 Mb)
- Letter from Gov. Terry McAuliffe
- Introduction and Acknowledgements
- Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Vision for Virginia's Outdoors — An introduction to the plan and data about needs for outdoor recreation in Virginia.
- Chapter 2: Economics and Tourism — In-depth analysis of the link between economic growth and outdoor recreation.
- Chapter 3: Outdoor Recreation and Health — An exploration of outdoor recreation’s effect on public health.
- Chapter 4: Trends in Outdoor Recreation Planning — The who, what, when and why of outdoor recreation participation in Virginia.
- Chapter 5: Conservation Planning — The case for land conservation and a summary of Virginia-specific tools.
- Chapter 6: Planning Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation — Resources for planners, including guidance for landowner liability and wetlands.
- Chapter 7: Land and Water Conservation Fund Program — Background on LWCF, an overview of the program in Virginia, and testimonials from local parks and recreation professionals.
- Chapter 8: Outdoor Recreation Programs — History, status and future of trails, public water access, and historic and scenic resources in Virginia.
- Chapter 9: Outdoor Recreation Providers — An overview of agencies and organizations that provide public outdoor recreation.
- Chapter 10: Regional Analysis and Recommendations — Detailed data and recommendations about public outdoor recreation and land conservation, broken down by planning district, and based on public feedback and input from regional planning professionals.