The Capital Region Land Conservancy is Central Virginia’s only land trust dedicated solely to serving the City of Richmond and Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent, and Charles City counties. Our mission is to conserve and protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations.
We live in an extraordinary place, unparalleled for its history and remarkably diverse natural resources, where the rolling hills of Virginia’s Piedmont give way to the Coastal Plain. Here in the watersheds of the James and York Rivers, where Native American tribes had already thrived for thousands of years, our nation took hold. While mapping Virginia in 1612, Captain John Smith declared “heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a more perfect place for man’s habitation.” 400 years later, more than one million people call the Capital Region home.
Today, prosperity brings new challenges. The counties surrounding the City of Richmond have been developing land at a rapid rate and this growth is often fragmented. Tree cover is in decline. Water quality is imperiled by new and diffuse sources of pollution not traditionally regulated under the Clean Water Act. Our forests, wetlands, farms, and wildlife are our greatest resources and provide us with quality of life and economic benefits that we don’t always appreciate until it’s too late. At the Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC), we believe that our future depends upon taking care of what makes the heart of Virginia so special. By balancing growth in our communities with conservation of our natural environment, we can ensure that the places we love will be enjoyed by the generations that follow in our footsteps.
In its first ten years, CRLC has facilitated the conservation of over 7,000 acres of land, including over 35 miles of stream and river frontage. Protecting land in our region helps ensure safe drinking water, locally grown food, preservation of our historic resources and habitat for wildlife.
Capital Region Land Conservancy needs the public's help to protect the historic 875± acre Malvern Hill Farm property. The Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places first listed Malvern Hill in 1969, recognizing its role in Virginia and United States history dating to the late 17th Century. Thomas Cocke (1639-1697) built the first Anglo-American residence there about 1690 and the architecturally significant ruins are well preserved today. The Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) encamped on the property in the summer of 1781 and the Virginia Militia also made camp there during the War of 1812.
But the name “Malvern Hill” is more strongly associated with a climactic moment in the American Civil War when the entire property lay behind the front infantry line of the Union army during the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. This deadly clash of armies ended with 5,650 Confederate and 2,100 Union casualties, bringing the Seven Days Battle and the Peninsula Campaign to a close and prompting President Abraham Lincoln to draft the Emancipation Proclamation. The Malvern Hill landscape is virtually unaltered making it one of the most well preserved battlefields.
The National Park Service has long sought portions of Malvern Hill Farm for inclusion in the Richmond National Battlefield Park. The United States Congress has approved roughly 430 acres in its legislatively authorized boundary for the park. The remaining acreage will be protected by conservation easements held by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (430 acres) and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (10 acres).
CRLS raised $5.7 million to support this $6.6 million acquisition. This includes two $500,000 challenge grants that will match 1:1 every $1 donated. Can you make a tax-deductible contribution to help us reach our goals? Checks can be made payable to Capital Region Land Conservancy and mail to us at P. O. Box 17306, Richmond, VA 23226. You can also make donations online at www.capitalregionland.org