Stafford is one of just six localities in the entire state to receive farmland preservation grants. The $411,890 we have just been awarded this year will go a long way, keeping our local agricultural and ecological landscapes healthy and thriving for years to come.
The Board and I are proud to have helped establish Stafford County’s purchase of development rights program. We have come a long way since this idea’s inception nearly 10 years ago to where now we have received over $1.5 million dollars in funding to date.
Full Article Below:
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2015 12:00 am
BY VANESSA REMMERS/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Farmland preservation in Stafford County is getting another boost from the state.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that Stafford was one of six localities to receive farmland preservation grants.
Stafford received $411,890 of the $2 million in grants that were issued by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Farmland Preservation.
Fauquier County, Albemarle County, Virginia Beach, James City County and Clarke County also received grant money.
“In addition to conserving farmlands, the grants being awarded today will help Virginia continue to produce high quality agricultural products that are marketed here and around the world,” McAuliffe said in a news release.
The localities must use the grant monies to permanently preserve working farmland within their boundaries through local purchase of development rights programs.
PDR programs compensate landowners who work with localities to permanently preserve their land by voluntarily securing a perpetual conservation easement, according to a state news release.
More than 300 acres have been protected from development in Stafford through the program since its inception in 2009.
“Open spaces are essential habitat for the Commonwealth’s communities—both ecological and human,” Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward said. “In addition to clear economic, agricultural, and aesthetic benefits, this investment will pay environmental dividends for generations to come.”
This is the ninth time that the state has provided state matching funds for certified local PDR programs, according to the news release.
Vanessa Remmers: 540.735.1975