The Virginia Treasures initiative focuses on quality rather than just quantity. The program stresses safeguarding significant sites and assets rather than just the numbers. The idea is to preserve, protect and highlight Virginia’s most important ecological, cultural, scenic and recreational assets as well as its special lands.
The conservation of working farms, forests, waterways and open space will continue. Most of this effort will be accomplished through conservation easements, which preserve land and improve the health of waterways, including that of the Chesapeake Bay. Particular attention will be paid to land with rare and endangered species and habitat.
The initiative also aims to identify and expand public access to the great outdoors through playgrounds, boat ramps, scenic byways, public gardens and so on. By increasing public access to and appreciation for Virginia’s outdoor treasures, public support for conserving, protecting and maintaining Virginia’s natural resources will likewise grow.
Virginia Treasures will be the scorecard by which the McAuliffe administration measures success at protecting land, water and recreational space. The goal is to identify, conserve and protect at least 1,000 treasures by the end of the governor's term.
Visit this page for a list of Virginia Treasures by locality.
A land protection treasure is one permanent, fee-simple conservation or open-space easement, or an amendment of an existing easement that permanently protects significant resources. Significant resource protection is measured by means of 14 metrics; a treasure must protect at least one metric.
Contact DCR's Natural Heritage Program staff for details about the above metrics.
A few land conservation treasure examples
A recreational treasure is a one that provides new public access to a natural, cultural or scenic outdoor recreation resource. These are projects that help the public by enhancing outdoor recreation and foster stewardship of natural and cultural resources. Emphasis is on ventures that meet the public’s most needed outdoor recreational offerings. Treasures are added when they are opened to the public. To be eligible, recreational or cultural treasures must be owned by the federal, state or local government or, if privately owned, accessible to the public.
An asset must consist of at least one of the following:
A treasure is not
Contact Virginia Treasures Program Coordinator Robbie Rhur, 804-371-2594, email@example.com, for details on recreational treasure criteria.
A few recreation treasure examples