Virginia Peninsula Land Trusts Join Hands Across the Rivers for Resource Protection and Public Benefit

The Historic Virginia Land Conservancy (HVLC) and the Middle Peninsula Land Trust (MPLT) are pleased to announce the merger of their two organizations, combining their experience and resources to continue and expand protection of invaluable natural spaces in our area.

Founded in 1997, MPLT strived to protect and preserve Virginia’s Middle Peninsula marshes, forests, farmlands, scenic and historic resources in lands that comprise the watersheds of the Rappahannock and York Rivers and Mobjack Bay. Mentoring conservation leadership efforts throughout Tidewater Virginia, from the Eastern Shore to the Northern Neck to Essex County, the MPLT Board educated landowners about the opportunities to protect land forever.  The small but dedicated Board of volunteers worked tirelessly over the years to assist landowners in protecting their properties for future generations, facilitating the protection of 17 parcels totaling 2,011 acres.

According to Neal Barber, Executive Director of MPLT, “The MPLT Board unanimously voted to merge with the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy knowing that the talents of HVLC would ensure that land with conservation easements are properly protected into the future.”

HVLC was originally founded in 1990 as the Historic Rivers Land Conservancy.  It became the Williamsburg Land Conservancy in 1996 and was later renamed to the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy to reflect its regional growth.  It currently protects 44 parcels, totaling 7,988 acres of land in the lower James, York and Rappahannock River watersheds.

“I am pleased for this region as well as the entire conservation community.  This merger represents joint efforts by so many of us to ensure protecting property continues for the timeless reasons of legacy, economics and public benefit,” says Patrice Sadler, Executive Director of HVLC.

The HVLC-MPLT merger has strong support in the larger VA conservation community.  Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) Executive Director, Joe Maroon says, “The merger of these two land trusts will strengthen land conservation efforts in the Williamsburg region and especially in the Middle Peninsula.  VEE is pleased with the outcome and happy to be a partner in the merger effort.”

Peggy Stevens, Chair of the Virginia United Land Trusts (VaULT) agrees, “The HVLC and MPLT have each worked for more than 20 years to protect natural, scenic, agricultural, and historic lands.  Together, their land conservation work has helped protect land in the watersheds of the James, York, and Rappahannock Rivers, as well as the Chesapeake Bay.  I congratulate their vision for the future as a merged, higher capacity single organization, continuing this important work in their many communities.”

Going forward, the combined organizations will operate under the name, leadership and staff of the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy.  For more information about the HVLC or the benefits of conservation easements, visit the HVLC website at: