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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.

News and notices

Public Comments Requested

The VLCF board of trustees is considering adopting guidance for resolving disputes related to the interpretation or administration of conservation easements in accordance with ยง10.1-1021.2 of the Code of Virginia. A draft version of the guidance document was presented to the board on June 16, 2015.

Written comments must be submitted before Aug. 12, 2015, via email to, through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website or by mail to Office of Land Conservation, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219. The board will discuss comments and recommendations received and consider adoption of the guidance at its next meeting in October.

Second FY 2016 Grant Round Announced

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation's board of trustees approved a new grant round that began on June 16, 2015. $2.25 million is available, to be divided among four categories: Open Space and Parks, Historic Area Preservation, Farmland and Forest Preservation, and Natural Area Protection. The application deadline for these grants is 4 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2015.

Download the VLCF Grant Manual, which includes the application form, for information on grant criteria and project eligibility. Call 804-225-2048 for more information.

A grant workshop was held on July 21, 2015. Here are presentations shown there. Email with questions.

FY 2015 and FY 2016 Grant Round

At its meeting on Jan. 6, 2015, the VLCF board approved recommended grant project applications from the 2014 grant round, awarding approximately $1.7 million. This committed state fiscal year 2015 and 2016 funding.

Read this press release issued by the governor's office for more detail.

Call or email Land Conservation Manager Sarah Richardson, 804-225-2048,, 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 on October 2013.

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.

In 1999, the General Assembly and the governor established the VLCF to help fund protection of these resources. Funds from the foundation are used to establish permanent conservation easements and to purchase 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.

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 establishes, administers, manages - including the creation of reserves - and makes expenditures and allocations from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, which is special, non-reverting money in the state treasury. One major function of the foundation is to make matching grants to holders and public bodies for:

purchasing fee simple title to or other rights, interests or privileges in property for the protections or preservation of ecological, cultural or historical resources

  • lands for recreational purposes
  • lands for threatened or endangered species, fish and wildlife habitat
  • natural areas
  • and agricultural and forestal lands and open space.

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.


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