The Alliance is delighted to announce that along with our partners in the Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative, we will bring almost $1 million to the region to accelerate clean water practices and farmland protection. Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced that the Collaborative has received a three-year award under its Chesapeake Bay Stewardship grant program.
The Collaborative brings together land trusts, watershed groups, regional nonprofits, and agency partners working toward shared goals in water quality, agricultural vitality and protected rural landscapes.
The Alliance is the coordinator and fiscal agent of the project. With this funding, our collaborative will expand beyond original members Potomac Conservancy, Valley Conservation Council, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, and Shenandoah County Easement Authority to include Friends of the Shenandoah River, Friends of the Middle River, Frederick County Conservation Easement Authority, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Services, and the Valley’s three Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
We are thankful for the support and encouragement we received as we put together this proposal and are excited to get to work. Read on for some reactions to this wonderful news.
Last year, our Collaborative partners got together and identified two major barriers to conservation and restoration work on private land in the Valley: field staff to work cooperatively with landowners to get projects implemented and funding for the programs. Today’s announcement from NFWF means that we will have significant new resources to the region to address these barriers. We are thrilled.
~ Alliance Executive Director Kate Wofford
Landowners in the Shenandoah Valley have made great strides improving farm practices for clean water, preserving rural landscapes, and contributing to the agricultural fabric of the region. I applaud NFWF and the Valley partners for building upon the strong track record of conservation and restoration.
~ Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger
Conservation practices and programs on farms are succeeding in restoring the health of our local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. More work remains to meet our goals, and this public-private partnership will help bring the resources that local landowners need to get the job done. I was pleased to weigh in with my support of the Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative proposal, and I wish the locally-based partnership much success.
~ Virginia Delegate Tony Wilt
On behalf of the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, we are delighted to be a participant with the Alliance and other collaborative partners in this important effort. We look forward to successfully combining our efforts to improve water quality, soil health and farmland protection!
~ Chairman Richard Hoover
This unique partnership among nonprofits, agencies and local governments will expand Natural Resources Conservation Service capacity to implement on-the-ground conservation practices and address a backlog of livestock-related project needs. By expanding landowner outreach, building technical expertise, and investing in farmer-to-farmer networks, we can deliver long-term conservation benefits that extend far beyond the Shenandoah Valley.
~ NRCS Virginia State Conservationist Jack Bricker
The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is a pooled grant fund managed by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and made possible through significant annual funding from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, corporate and foundation partners. Today, NFWF announced nearly $13 million in total grant awards across 47 projects and leveraging nearly $20 million in local matching funds for a total conservation impact of roughly $32 million.