York River Preserve


New Kent County


1,621 acres

Date Recorded/Protected:


Property Facts:

At the end of 2004, the Williamsburg Land Conservancy received a donated permanent conservation easement on 1621 acres of land from Ken McDermott, a Stonehouse developer. This stunning piece of land, known as the York River Preserve, contains approximately three miles of York River shoreline and runs between Ware Creek, the boundary between James City County and New Kent County, west to Philbates Creek. For a sense of perspective, the York River Preserve easement is slightly larger than the Governor’s Land community.

In conjunction with York River State Park and Camp Peary, the York River Preserve will effectively protect most of the south bank of the York River from development from Queens Creek in the east to near West Point at the top of the York River. This is a major ecological and land protection win.

Mr. McDermott first viewed the York River Preserve from the water on a York River boat trip arranged by current Conservancy board member Mark Rinaldi. Mr. McDermott purchased the property with the long-term goal of protecting it. As he has said, “It is an important ecosystem. I believe in saving the Chesapeake Bay and saving waterfront property is a key part.”

The York River Preserve still remains the largest easement ever donated to the WLC. It was also the first WLC easement in New Kent County.