$1.7 million awarded throughout Virginia
RICHMOND — Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the recipients of 14 grants – including Pulaski County – totaling $1.7 million awarded by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, a state land conservation board. The grants will help add 5,729 acres to Virginia’s conserved lands.
“The VLCF grants are money well spent,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The funding is critical to completing long-range conservation projects that protect working farms, forests, wildlife habitat, and historic resources. Many of the projects that are being funded also will help improve water quality and increase access to outdoor recreation opportunities.”
VLCF grants are used by private land trusts, local governments and state agencies to protect and acquire special lands in the following categories: farmlands and forestry, historic areas, natural areas, and open spaces and parks.
“Nearly 150 conservation projects have been made possible through VLCF grants since 1999, when the foundation was created,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, who chairs the foundation’s board. “The program provides an economical and efficient approach to conserving precious lands, protecting rivers and streams, and preserving farms and historic places for future generations.
Included in the grant is $125,000 toward the New River Connector in Pulaski County.
This grant will help purchase land for public access to canoeing and fishing opportunities. It also will provide for the construction of a recreational trail to connect an elementary school, the community of Fairlawn, the New River and, ultimately, Bissett Park. The trail will cross existing bridge piers from Radford’s Battle of New River Bridge, a part of Virginia’s Civil War Trail.
The dollar figures given reflects only the state grant amount and not the total cost of the project.
The Pulaski County project is one of 14 to receive grants.
The VLCF board is composed of 19 members appointed by the Governor, the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The board includes the Secretary of Natural Resources, who serves as chair, and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation provides staff to the foundation.