WHAT WE DO

Preserving our natural land makes a difference today – and for future generations.

PROTECT YOUR LAND

Find out how to preserve your land’s legacy for generations to come. Please contact the Conservancy today to find out more.

OUR PROPERTIES

There are over 14,700 acres permanently protected by the Conservancy.

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Whether you are an individual or a business, plesae see our member benefits and sponsorship opportunities.

What's New

Just Conserved - 400 acres in York County and Isle of Wight County

Late in 2023, HVLC conserved two spectacular properties. The Ashe property located in the Seaford area of York County is 226 acres of prime forestland with 37 acres of critical wetland habitat, and substantial frontage on Claxton and Back Creeks, which flow to the York River.

HVLC also worked with the Bowers family to conserve 186 acres in Isle of Wight County consisting of  working forestland and productive cropland. As always, HVLC is gratified to the generous easement donors and honored to be entrusted to protect this beautiful land.

New Executive Director

In January 2024, the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy (HVLC) proudly welcomed Elizabeth Friel as its new Executive Director. Elizabeth previously served as Executive Director capacity with two other conservation organizations, most recently in Hampton Roads and prior to that on the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Early in her conservation career, Elizabeth was an HVLC employee, Board member, and Volunteer of the Year award winner. Prior to her land conservation work, she worked in urban planning both in Virginia and Maryland, including early in her career in James City County. Elizabeth shared that. “It is exciting to be able to work in conservation here in historic Virginia, my home of many years. I hope to bring new ideas and energy to conservation in this unique community.”

Save the Date

Sunday October 20th, 2024, 4th Annual Friends and Family Fall Fest at Freedom Park, Details Coming Soon!

2024 Calendar

Love of the Land Photo Contest

The Historic Virginia Land Conservancy wants you to celebrate the amazing outdoor places Virginia has to offer. The HVLC is your local, private land trust that protects the scenic views and open spaces that make our community a special place. Summertime is here, along with nature’s bright and abundant colors all around us! So, grab your smartphone and get outdoors to enjoy some fresh air and capture the beauty of the natural world in our community.

Cover for Historic Virginia Land Conservancy
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Historic Virginia Land Conservancy

Historic Virginia Land Conservancy

Protecting and preserving significant natural, scenic, agricultural
and historic land in the James, York and Rappahannock River watersheds.

Picture it! Let’s get outside in the great outdoors to alleviate stress and get our creative juices flowing! visit our website to get the whole picture!historicvirginialandconservancy.org/news-and-events/ ... See MoreSee Less
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The importance of treesEach and every one lend value to the region and its residents(Opinion Daily Press Media Group- July 9, 2024)In Hampton Roads and across Virginia, we are blessed with an abundance of trees, despite civilization’s tendency to view them as expendable obstacles in the way of development. We shouldn’t take our trees for granted, because they usually do a lot more for us than we do for them.Forestry experts say about two-thirds of Virginia has forest cover, including the urban forest: every tree in an urban area, lining streets or in parks or yards.The commonwealth claims nearly 80 national champion big trees, according to reporting in May by the Virginia Mercury. Trees are measured, registered and entered in national competition for various species by the Virginia Big Tree Program at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. A champion big tree isn’t necessarily old, just one that’s enjoyed conditions that allowed it to grow to maximum potential.If it’s old trees you’re interested in, the commonwealth has those in abundance, including bald cypress more than 1,000 years old.If trees could talk, they would tell remarkable stories about our region. At Fort Monroe in Hampton stands the Algernourne Oak, estimated to be more than 500 years old, named for Fort Algernourne, built in 1609 where the James and York rivers meet the Chesapeake Bay. The oak was there when indigenous people were the land’s only occupants. It was there when the first ship arrived bringing African slaves to the English colonies in North America.The Emancipation Oak at Hampton University is where former slaves and others in January 1863 first heard the Emancipation Proclamation. During the Civil War, Mary Smith Kelsey Peake, an educator and the daughter of a free Black woman and a prominent Englishman, taught Black people to read and write under that oak.Trees that are neither record holders nor historic sites are important nonetheless. Maybe you enjoy trees that help shade your home, or nearby ones that offer a cooler space where you can exercise.Even when you’re rushing along city streets and sidewalks, you probably benefit from that urban forest — trees, especially large, leafy ones, that provide extensive shade and mitigate the heat that radiates off exposed streets, parking lots and sidewalks.You can feel the difference in areas with lots of pavement but few trees. When the thermometer registers 85 degrees, unshaded asphalt will be 110. As temperatures inch up, the heat radiating from the blacktop soars exponentially.In the U.S., extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related problem. As we develop more land, and build on smaller lots, the likelihood that big trees will be sacrificed increases.When we cut the trees, we lost more than shade and shelter. Trees, as they trap rainfall and release it slowly, reduce the stormwater runoff, sediment and pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay.The larger trees grow, the more they capture carbon and other pollution in the air, helping to reduce the climate change that contributes to flooding, storms and other problems.If you own property, consider planting trees. Don’t rush to cut a tree that has a hollow or knot and lacks symmetry. That tree may have many years left to provide shade, help clean the water and air, and offer sanctuary to birds and other creatures.All of us can let our officials know that we favor ordinances and laws that protect trees.Trees within designated preservation areas, including the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act region, are protected by law. Any tree within 100 feet of a stream or river in much of Virginia’s eastern tidewater region is protected.The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that enables localities to regulate the preservation and removal of heritage, specimen, memorial and street trees, but few localities enforce stringent rules.We have learned the hard way that trees are not as expendable as once thought. We should do a better job of protecting them, so that we can fully enjoy all that they have to offer. ... See MoreSee Less
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Let us remember those who worked hard to ensure a better future for our family and the next generations. Happy 4th of July! ... See MoreSee Less
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IT’S YOUR VIEW.
TOGETHER, LET’S HELP PROTECT IT.

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