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About the foundation

Virginia. The very word conjures images of pastoral beauty. There are special places here, special lands that have witnessed America's greatest human triumphs and tragedies. Our state's open spaces, farms, areas of cultural significance, parks and battlefields inspire and attract people from around the globe. About eight million now call the Old Dominion home. And Virginia's natural habitats, some found nowhere else on earth, are home to some pretty special plant and animal inhabitants as well.

In 1999, the General Assembly and the governor established the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to help fund protection of these resources. Grants are awarded to help fund the purchase of permanent conservation easements, open spaces and parklands, lands of historic or cultural significance, farmlands and forests, and natural areas. State agencies, local governments, public bodies and registered (tax-exempt) nonprofit groups are eligible to receive matching grants from the foundation.

News and notices

Second FY 2016 Grant Round and Conservation Easement Dispute Resolution Guidance

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation board of trustees met on Oct. 27 and approved 14 land-conservation grants totaling $2.25 million that will help add 2,000 acres to Virginia’s conserved lands. Eighteen applications were received, with grant requests totaling close to $3.4 million. The projects approved represent more than $13 million in public and private money going to land conservation across the state.

This press release issued by the governor's office has details.

Call or email Land Conservation Manager Sarah Richardson, 804-225-2048, sarah.richardson@dcr.virginia.gov, for more information.

At its October meeting, the board of trustees also adopted guidance for resolving disputes related to the interpretation or administration of conservation easements in accordance with §10.1-1021.2 of the Code of Virginia. This is the final guidance document.

Call or email Land Conservation Analyst Suzan Bulbulkaya, 804-371-5218, suzan.bulbulkaya@dcr.virginia.gov, for more information.

VLCF brochure

The VLCF published a brochure about the foundation. It includes a map showing the locations of all awarded grant projects.


Click here for the VLCF Board of Trustees and DCR Report of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation submitted to the governor and General Assembly in June 2015.

Click here for the VLCF Board of Trustees and DCR 2007 and 2008 Biennial Report of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (with Calendar Year 2007 Land Preservation Tax Credit Conservation Value Summary), submitted to the governor and Virginia General Assembly in January 2009. Click here to download the Land Preservation Tax Credit Conservation Value Report for calendar years 2009 and 2010.

Land Preservation Tax Credits – Conservation Value Review Criteria

At its March 27, 2009, meeting, the VLCF Board amended the Land Preservation Tax Credit (LPTC) Conservation Value Review Criteria to incorporate guidance used over the past year by DCR's director to verify the conservation value of donated land or conservation easements or other less-than-fee interests in land that result in tax credit applications of $1 million or more. Click here for the criteria the board adopted that day.

After two public comment periods and input from an advisory group, DCR staff developed draft final amendments to the Land Preservation Tax Credits Conservation Value Review Criteria for the VLCF Board’s consideration. Proposed changes to the criteria were presented to the board at its March 27, 2009, meeting. The public had the opportunity to comment at that meeting before action was taken by the board.

Click here for more information about the LPTC.

Click here for procedural guidelines for conservation donors whose tax credit applications are for $1 million or more.


photo of redbudFew would argue that our commonwealth's natural and cultural resources are less than astonishing. With such unmatched resources, however, comes responsibility; the responsibility to conserve and protect these special places for future generations. That's where the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) comes in.

The purpose of the foundation is to provide state funding used to conserve certain categories of special land. Those categories are open spaces and parks, natural areas, historic areas, and farmland and forest preservation. The money comes from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, which is managed by the foundation. A portion of the fund may be used for developing properties for public use. Grants used for acquisition are generally used only for current projects; only in exceptional cases - where considerable public benefit and compelling, unusual financial need and circumstances have been shown - might grants be made for already complete purchases.

The foundation manages the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, which gets funding from the state’s annual budget. One major function of the foundation is to make matching grants to holders and public bodies for purchasing fee simple title to or permanent conservation easements for the preservation of ecological, cultural or historical resources.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation provides staff and administrative support. An Interagency Taskforce reviews and recommends grant applications to the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation. Grant awards are based on applications for 50 percent or less of total project costs pursuant to specific criteria defined in each category.


There are four application categories, and each has a particular set of criteria.

  • Open Spaces and Parks
  • Natural Area Protection
  • Historic Area Preservation
  • Farmlands and Forest Preservation


Applications can be submitted by agencies, localities, public bodies, and registered (tax-exempt) nonprofit organizations in accordance with application procedures.

Board Member Resources

Resources for board members regarding FOIA, travel regulations, open meetings, etc.


For more info, write to:

Department of Conservation and Recreation
Attn: Virginia Land Conservation Foundation
600 E. Main St., 24th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

or call 804-225-2048