Does your New Year resolution involve exercise and getting outdoors more? Does it involve eating more healthfully? Does it involve being more caring? Perhaps it’s not about changing yourself or your behavior but wishing for something good to come true. Whatever it may be, there is a high probability that Capital Region Land Conservancy is working to fulfill your goals. We anticipate 2023 will be our best year yet!
We don’t do this work alone. CRLC’s staff grew to two full-time and three part-time employees in 2022. Our community partners have also grown to include stronger collaboration with the Friends of Bandy Field, Friends of the James River Park, Friends of the Lower Appomattox River, Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District, James River Soil & Water Conservation District, Monacan Soil & Water Conservation District, James River Association, Scenic Virginia, as well as the Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and National Park Service. Team work makes the dream work!
And it shows… in 2022, Capital Region Land Conservancy completed the donation of 28 acres from Howard Eberly at Four Mile Creek Farm in Henrico County.
We also received the donation of 3.5 acres from Josh and Carrie Rogers for the Buttermilk Trail and James River Park in the City of Richmond.
CRLC purchased 40+ acres along the Appomattox River for a future park and extension of the Lower Appomattox River Trail in Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Chesterfield County.
In 2022, CRLC also completed the transfer of 371 acres at Malvern Hill Farm to the National Park Service,
We recorded a conservation easement on 0.85 acres at the James River Association’s future site of the James A. Buzzard River Education Center.
CRLC recorded another conservation easement on 51 acres at Ware Bottom Church Battlefield in Chesterfield County.
We protected 12.65 acres along Totopotomoy Creek in Hanover County under a conservation easement.
To round out the year, we announced a contract to purchase Mayo Island that had been sought as a public park since 1983. Notably, all but one of these projects include public access.
Plus, CRLC is preparing our Varina LandLab for regular access to begin in 2023 after a year of planning and establishing the partnerships for educational programming.
Without giving too much away, CRLC has big plans for 2023. It includes additional acquisitions for the James River Park System that fulfill the Richmond Riverfront Plan, work to further protect lands at Malvern Hill and New Market Heights, as well as other projects along the Appomattox River. We’re also pleased to note that we have active conservation easement projects in every locality in our service area and look forward to completing our first projects in Charles City and New Kent counties.
Our operations are fully funded by generous donors like you. We’re often asked that question because we actively work to secure grant funding to protect lands. Yet every dollar from these grants goes into the dirt and doesn’t support staff time. What makes everything possible is the support we receive from individuals who believe in a future where our food is secure, our environment protected, and all of our history preserved.
Donors give to their means… Whether it’s the loyal monthly donation of $5, the $50 annual membership dues, or the $5,000 major gift, every contribution counts as a testament of the shared belief that many hands make light work. CRLC relies on each and every gift and is proud to have exceeded 500 individual donors in 2022. Are you among them? Please consider making an end of the year gift in 2022 so that we may affirm our budget for 2023 and accomplish the many goals we have.
All the best to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous New Year!
P.S. – Don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes and collard greens on New Year’s Day. They’ll help bring you good luck, good health, and good fortune for 2023.