The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) is pleased to become the official caretaker of five wetland mitigation bank sites in Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties totaling 221 acres. These natural areas provide homes to many critical plant and animal species while also protecting key water sources that we rely on as a region for clean drinking water.
The project marks the first set of wetland mitigation sites that NVCT will steward in perpetuity after 18 years of restoration and oversight by Evergreen Environmental LLC.
“We are excited to be the protector of these unique ecosystems,” said Alan Rowsome, Executive Director of NVCT. “Our mission is to protect critical lands and waters throughout Northern Virginia, and these wetlands give us an opportunity to do that in a new and innovative way.”
One of the wetlands, located within Gilbert’s Corner Regional Park in Loudoun County, is home to a variety of songbirds, including the yellow-breasted chat. This species has seen its population decline in recent years due to urbanization in the areas it calls home. NVCT’s newly conserved habitat at this site will ensure these birds and many other species will continue to be safe and thrive in their natural environment.
“NOVA Parks is thrilled to have NVCT as the easement holder for the wetlands at Gilbert’s Corner Regional Park,” said Paul Gilbert, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. “We have a strong partnership already, working together on many conservation projects. This new arrangement will build on that.”
Another site in Delaplane will now be safeguarded as 22 acres of wetlands that beaver, whitetail deer, and numerous small amphibians call home. Peter Schwartz, the owner of this land in Fauquier County, is clear about why he decided to protect it: “We all have a responsibility of stewardship for future generations. On the largest scale, we inhabit a planet in great need of environmental stewardship. On a much smaller, but collectively important scale, we can each do our share to preserve and protect our own properties.”
Breeding frogs depend on a third newly conserved site located on the border of Fauquier and Prince William counties. And they’re not alone. These wetlands also host a variety of ducks, geese, and herons. Protection of the property ensures that these creatures and others like them will have a place to live and a healthy ecosystem that supports them for all time.
About Northern Virginia Conservation Trust Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) is a nonprofit land trust that strengthens and forever conserves the land, water and scenic character of Northern Virginia. Since its founding in 1994, NVCT has protected more than 7,000 acres in urban and rural places in its service area of more than 2.9 million residents. Today Northern Virginia's lands are threatened by extreme development pressures and climate change, making conservation work crucial to sustaining livable and healthy communities. Land conservation provides natural places for children to play, scenic views, and green spaces that help improve mental health and well-being. From working farms and forests, to urban lands, parks and nature preserves, NVCT is your local land trust saving nearby nature now and for future generations. To learn more and to get involved, visit www.nvct.org.