The county’s investment in land preservation doubled in February 2022 when the Virginia Farmland Preservation Program notified the county it was one of seven counties in the Commonwealth to receive a 1:1 match for its land conservation fund. This is significant because a relatively small investment by the county can now be leveraged with other state, federal and private dollars many times over, resulting in a big impact—more working lands conserved for future farming generations.
The last time the county received matching funds to secure a conservation easement was in 2011 when a $100,000 investment by the county was leveraged more than nine times. After a years-long gap, we applaud the county supervisors’ decision to restore funding for county-level land protection in 2021, opening the door for the state’s matching funds received this year.
“Putting a conservation easement on my family farm was a long-time goal for me and I think it is exciting that we finally have money to help county residents protect their land,” said Shenandoah County Conservation Easement Authority Chairwoman, Dee Hockman.
With funding in hand, the Conservation Easement Authority created in 2008 by Shenandoah County Supervisors to secure voluntary conservation easements is ready to get back to work with landowners interested in permanently protecting some of the county’s most important working landscapes, as envisioned in the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan.
If you own open space, agricultural, forestal, or historic land in Shenandoah County, then you may be eligible to receive financial benefits for protecting your property for generations to come. Please contact Shenandoah County Planner, Tyler Hinkle firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-459-6204 for more information.
And don’t forget, the Shenandoah Fund is also available to help cover the costs of completing an easement.
Top Photo: State matching funds received by the county in 2011 were used to permanently protect a 300-acre working farm outside of Woodstock.