Submitted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation is accepting applications for nearly $15 million in land conservation grants, a record amount.
A total of $16 million each in fiscal year 2023 and fiscal year 2024 was approved in the state budget, with $4 million each year allocated to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. Another $2.9 million in previously awarded grants that was not spent because projects were withdrawn or came in under budget is being made available, in addition to the newly allocated $12 million.
The foundation provides grants to support conservation in the following categories: farmland preservation, forest preservation, historic preservation, natural area protection, and open spaces and parks.
The program provides 50-50 matching grants for localities and nonprofit conservation entities.
Under state legislation that went into effect on July 1, Virginia’s Indian tribes will be eligible to apply for the first time. State agencies and federally or state-recognized Indian tribes may receive 100%.
The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
A virtual workshop for potential applicants is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. Details about the workshop, the grant manual and application are posted at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/land-conservation/vlcf.
In 2021, the board awarded $7.5 million for the fiscal year 2022 grant round to fund 30 conservation projects and protect 8,000 acres of land across the commonwealth.
VLCF board members are appointed by the governor, the Senate and the House of Delegates. The board includes the Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources, who serves as chair, and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
DCR provides staff support to the board.