Valley Conservation Council has record year of preserving land in the Shenandoah Valley

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 11:45 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Valley Conservation Council (VCC) had a record-breaking year.

It preserved more than 1,900 acres of farm and forest land and 10 miles of waterways from Frederick County to Botetourt County.

“We work with landowners to protect their land through something called a conservation easement and that makes sure it maintains its agricultural, its conservation value,” Adam Schellhammer, executive director of VCC said.

Schellhammer said the relationship between landowners and the VCC is the driving force behind its successful 2022 year of preservation and protection.

“We had a very strong year and put a lot of quality land under protection,” he said.

As many projects get approved in the Valley for economic development, VCC said it’s a balance between growth and having sustainable food and water.

”The Shenandoah Valley has a really strong food culture and a very vibrant agricultural community and through land protection. We can protect those farms; we can protect that heritage and make sure that’s something that stays vibrant in this community moving forward,” Schellhammer said.

He said through conservation food security can be provided to the Valley.

“We’re in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, so whatever we can do to protect the waters, the streams, the rivers out here also helps the waterman and the folks that rely on the Bay for their tourism industry,” he said.

Schellhammer said in 2023 they plan to achieve better water quality outcomes and higher productive soils with new technology.

To learn more about VCC or to see about preserving your land visit their website.