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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

FY 17 Grant Round

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees met on May 18, 2016, and approved a proposed grant round of about $6 million using funds provided in the FY17 Appropriations Act and carryover funds from past projects. As required by law, funds will be divided into four grant categories:

  • $1.5 million for natural area protection
  • $1.75 million for open spaces and parks
  • $1.5 million for farmlands and forest preservation
  • $1.59 million for historic area preservation

The board also approved an updated VLCF Grant Manual.

The deadline for grant applications is Thursday, July 28, 2016, at 4 p.m. A grant workshop was held on June 28, 2016. Here are the presentations used to explain the grant application process and different categories.

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

Conservation Easement Dispute Resolution Guidance

At its Oct. 27, 2015, meeting, the VLCF board of trustees adopted guidance for resolving disputes related to the interpretation or administration of conservation easements in accordance with ss10.1-1021.2 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.

Land Preservation Tax Credits – Conservation Value Review Criteria

In 2009, the VLCF Board amended the Land Preservation Tax Credit (LPTC) Conservation Value Review Criteria to verify the conservation value of donated land or conservation easements that result in tax credit applications of $1 million or more.

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.

Upcoming Meetings

Next meeting: Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at 1 p.m. in the East Reading Room of the Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad St., Richmond, Va.

Meeting notices and records of previous meetings can be found on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website.

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