CRLC Hires Leading Conservationist Michael Lipford as first Director of Conservation Partnerships

Richmond, VA – As the need to conserve Virginia’s natural and historic lands grows more urgent in the rapidly changing Richmond Region, Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has hired Michael Lipford, a veteran conservationist in Virginia, to help meet this challenge. Lipford’s skill set, experience, and desire to work locally were compelling to CRLC where “Think globally, act locally” is a strongly shared value. Lipford joins a talented and experienced staff and board dedicated to preserving local lands for parks, farmland, forests, and wildlife. 

Michael Lipford, Director of Conservation Partnerships, Capital Region Land Conservancy

“We are thrilled to have Michael join our team as we work to increase our efforts to conserve the land that is closest to where we live, work, and play. His mastery of the tools for protecting important habitat on a statewide level will increase our effectiveness here and will enhance CRLC’s efforts locally”, said Parker Agelasto, Executive Director of Capital Region Land Conservancy.  

Lipford marked his retirement from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in December after 36 years, of which he served 25 years as the Executive Director of the Virginia Chapter and more recently as the Southern U.S. Regional Director. Lipford began his career in 1986 when he started the Virginia Natural Heritage Program for The Nature Conservancy. After developing a successful statewide program, he helped transfer the program into state government, creating the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation’s Division of Natural Heritage and served as its first director.  

Among Lipford’s other accomplishments are the acquisition of the 1,095-acre Cumberland Marsh Natural Area Preserve in New Kent County. His leadership in partnership collaborations resulted in the establishment of the Agricultural Reserve Program in Virginia Beach, passage of the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit for conservation easements, and creation of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, the Commonwealth’s primary funding vehicle for land protection. His efforts to purchase the 2,000-acre Piney Grove Preserve in Sussex County prevented the extirpation from Virginia of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker.  

“I was not ready to fully retire and wanted to apply my experience to conserving important lands and waters in my backyard.  CRLC provides the best opportunity for local conservation, and I am very honored to join a great team with one of the most effective land trusts in Virginia”, said Lipford.  

As the Director of Conservation Partnerships, Lipford will provide high-level assistance to Agelasto on cultivation of partnerships to advance CRLC’s mission. CRLC has seen its greatest success when collaborating with partner localities, non-profits, agencies, and civic groups in the Richmond region. Lipford will continue to develop and support these strategic partnerships. Lipford will also put his skills to work in fundraising and cultivation of major donors and will implement and update CRLC’s Strategic Plan and support strategic land conservation projects. 

About Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC): Incorporated in March 2005 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, CRLC seeks to conserve and protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations. Visit www.capitalregionland.org to learn more about CRLC’s land conservation programs.  

For more information, contact Parker C. Agelasto, CRLC Executive Director at parker@capitalregionland.org or 202-302-0153.