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Land Trust of Virginia Announces First Easement in Gloucester County

4 building lots reduced to 1, historic and natural resources preserved


GLOUCESTER COURTHOUSE, Va., Nov. 22, 2022 – The Land Trust of Virginia (LTV) is pleased to announce a conservation easement in Saluda thanks to the generosity of landowners Charles and Beverly Rich. This 228-acre property is the first LTV easement recorded in Gloucester County.


The Richs first began exploring the possibility of an easement in speaking with Conservation Partners, LLC, based in Lexington.


“They gave me the nuts and bolts of what needed to be done and my wife and I liked what we heard,” said Charles. “The money down here comes from solar farms and subdivisions. I wanted this tract of land to stay just the way it is because I have a real attachment to this land.”


The Rich’s property is highly visible from U.S. 17 and so important scenic open space is now protected. Also noteworthy is a historic dwelling, known as Mount Prodigal, with portions dating to 1690 and the early 1700s. Since moving onto the property in 1974, the Richs have painstakingly expanded and restored Mount Prodigal into their family home where they raised their two children. Charles ran a farming operation on the property including cattle, hogs, grain, and timber. From the beginning he was focused on conservation practices including erosion control, no-till farming, growing cover crops and maintaining and practicing a Nutrient Management Plan on all his cropland acres. This dedication and leadership earned him a Clean Water Farm Award in 2021 from the Tidewater Soil and Water Conservation District.


Additional natural resources protected by the easement include 114.7 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance”, 111 acres of which are forested, 8.73 acres of NWI Wetlands, including a 1.8-acre pond.


“The Richs have been dedicated to the preservation of this land for decades and now this easement makes it official,” said LTV Executive Director, Sally Price. “We were honored to work with them and provide financial assistance from our Malcom Forbes Baldwin Fund, a fund used to offset our costs to complete an easement on agricultural properties.”


The Rich’s easement is the 226th easement completed by the Land Trust of Virginia. For more information about their work, please visit http://www.landtrustva.org.


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About the Land Trust of Virginia

The Land Trust of Virginia is a nonprofit organization that partners with private landowners who voluntarily protect and preserve properties with significant historic, scenic, or ecological value. LTV has worked with 226 families, conserving a total of 27,879 acres in 27 counties in Virginia. While LTV charges landowners for their services, the fees charged only cover about 28% of LTV’s actual costs so fundraising is essential to our mission.

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