Thursday, November 07, 2013

Expanding Parkland!

Anne Webb (former owner) and Lisa Alexander (Executive Director of ANS) at the Webb Sanctuary

More parkland is always a great thing, and I am pleased to announce that the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has recently added 4 new properties to our portfolio of parkland! The new additions bring our total acreage up to 11,262!

·         Many people know that the Rust Sanctuary in Leesburg was added by way of a long-term lease. We celebrated this addition of 68 acres with an open house at the end of September. This is a partnership with Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS).

·         In addition to Rust another part of our partnership with ANS is the addition of the Webb Sanctuary a 20 property in Clifton. We just added Webb Sanctuary as a new NVRPA property last week!

·         Mt. Defiance is the central property for the Battle of Middleburg. We have been working on this deal for some time, but just this week we acquired ownership of this property from the Civil War Trust. This gives us another important piece of Civil War history.

·         At Gilbert’s Corner Regional Park, across from Mt. Zion a 66 acre property that we have been leasing from the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) will be owned by us next week. Kate Rudacille successfully put together many different federal and state grants, so that our investment in this property will be less than 10% of the value, a remarkable accomplishment!

In addition to these great successes, we have a number of other great land acquisition deals in the works that will continue to grow our base of parkland in the region. I look forward to being able to announce more good acquisition news in the months ahead.

An important measure of success for any park agency is growth. Like the trees in our forests you are either in a state of growth or a state of decline. We should all take pride that the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority continues to grow and develop in wonderful ways! We measure this success and growth in many ways: new and improved facilities, and programs, number of users, customer service, and expanding revenue to support the agency and our mission. All of these measures are important, but growth of parkland is one measure of success that almost everyone can appreciate. This gets to the core of why we are here, to conserve land for current and future generations.

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