View of leafless trees on a forested hill slope at Totopotomoy Creek

Easement Increases Protection of Totopotomoy Creek & Battlefield

HANOVER, VA – Two Hanover County residents are dedicated to leaving their land in better condition than when they found it. On September 21, Capital Region Land Conservancy recorded a conservation easement on 12.65 acres owned by a couple who have been living in the Pine Slash community for 31 years. Their forested property in the Henry District of Hanover County, which gracefully slopes down to Totopotomoy Creek, will forever remain undeveloped so that it continues to provide wildlife habitat and water quality protection for the Creek and surrounding wetlands. 


Totopotomoy Creek is an east-flowing tributary of the Pamunkey River.  The Pamunkey River and its tributaries support extensive and diverse freshwater wetlands, marshes and forests, including globally rare plant species, making the protection of the property so important.  The easement protects the wetland and creek areas by restricting harmful activities such as tree harvesting, building construction, and regrading. The forest community on the property protects water quality in this tributary to the Pamunkey River and provides a wide range of wildlife habitat for everything from salamanders, great blue herons and egrets to populations of deer and turkey.


Importantly, the property falls within the Watershed Impact Model, a scientific model developed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, to help establish priority locations for conservation, restoration, or implementation of best management practices, where the goal is to maintain or improve water quality and/or aquatic ecological integrity. The model helps identify where conservation easements such as this one are expected to have the greatest impact on water. 


Equally important, this easement lies within the study area of the Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield as determined by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission’s 1993 Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields. In May of 1864, after 2 days of fighting, over 2,300 soldiers had died. Preserving this property adds to the overall ability to interpret the local battlefield landscape.