Grants protecting thousands of acres of farmland, forest and open spaces
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three area projects are getting funding to help conserve land.
Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $14.7 million in Virginia Land Conservation Foundation funding on Tuesday.
According to a release, these funds will go toward 29 projects across Virginia, including land acquisitions for new public outdoor recreation areas and conservation easements to protect active forests and farmland.
“Our Commonwealth boasts so much history and natural beauty, from the mountains and waterways to farmland and vineyards and all the open spaces and parks we enjoy,” said Youngkin. “Protecting working farmland and forests, creating new heritage tourism sites and increasing public access to outdoor recreational opportunities all support the key forces driving Virginia’s economy: agriculture, tourism and forestry.”
In total, the 29 projects will be protecting more than 55,000 acres.
The funding can be used for farmland preservation, forest preservation, historic preservation, natural area protection, and open spaces and parks.
“We’re excited that this year’s grant round will protect a record 55,575 acres,” said Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation Matthew Wells. “In addition to preserving Virginia’s scenic byways and river frontage, these strategically targeted land conservation projects will help improve our water quality, protect biodiversity and enhance public access to the outdoors.”
The Piedmont Environmental Council is getting two grants, one for a Greene County project and one for an Orange County project.
The Greene County project will protect farmland along tributaries of the Rapidan River. It will create a conservation easement on 229 acres of farmland and forest land in the Rappahannock Basin.
This grant is worth $282,500.
The Orange County project will create a conservation easement on more than 544 acres of farmland and forest land in the Rappahannock Basin near Barboursville. This will include riparian buffer zones along tributaries of the Rapidan River.
This grant is worth $605,000.
And the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is getting $110,300 for the Panamint Farm project. This will create a conservation easement on 533 acres of active farmland and forest land in Louisa County, which is more than three times the size of the average farm in that county.
This property includes frontage on the Nunn, Goldmine and White creeks.
For a full list of the grant recipients, click here.