Gaining Ground

Virginia

1,940,822

Acres Protected

That’s about 1,470,320 football fields!

Land trusts have already conserved 61 million acres of private land across the nation — more than all of the national parks combined. Help us conserve another 60 million acres by the end of the decade.

Together, let’s keep Gaining Ground.

Visitors to Land Trust Properties

2,195

More and more people are enjoying the benefits of nature.

Percent of Land Trusts That Provide Public Access to Their Lands

43%

Land trusts provide opportunities to recreate and recharge.

Number of People Served

1,227

Land trusts provide programs and activities to get people outside and learn about the land.

Miles of Trails

25

Walking, hiking and other outdoor recreation improve people's health and well-being.

Miles With Universal Access

8

Universal access trails are designed to be used by all people, regardless of ability.

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Community Engagement in the Last Five Years

57%

Land Trusts Are Deepening Relationships With:
  • People from various racial and ethnic backgrounds

  • Older adults or those living in retirement communities

  • People who identify as LGBTQ+

  • People living with disabilities

  • Veterans

Land Trusts Are Helping Address Community Needs, Including:
  • Youth education and development

  • Community and economic development

  • Food security and agriculture

  • Health and wellness

  • Social and environmental justice

Demographics

Every land trust is as unique as the community it serves.

Virginia land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.

Active Land Trusts

23

A land trust is a nonprofit that conserves land by acquiring and stewarding land or conservation easements.

Learn more about land trusts
Alliance Member Land Trusts

20

Land Trust Alliance members commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.

Learn about the land trust alliance
Accredited Land Trusts

12

Accredited land trusts undergo a thorough review of their practices in governance, finance, transactions and stewardship.

Learn about land trust accreditation

People

  • 815,226

  • 20,031

  • 4,108

  • 316

  • 264

Land Trust Longevity

  • 79 years old (1943)

  • 9 years old (2013)

  • 30 years old

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Focus on Climate Change in the Last Five Years

50%

Percent of Land Trusts Receiving Funding to Address Climate Change

25%

Land Protected

There has been a 24% increase in Virginia land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve Virginia lands, waters and ways of life.

2010
2015
2020
Total acres protected
1,569,349
1,708,079
1,940,822
+24%
Under easement
757,984
757,301
823,324
+9%
Owned
118,386
129,416
285,903
+142%
Acquired and reconveyed
197,973
256,747
232,886
+18%
Protected by other means
495,007
595,560
598,709
+21%

Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Land Owned and Under Easement Held by an Accredited Land Trust

39%

Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$583 million

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017

72,700

Source: NRCS - Natural Resources Inventory

This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.

Making a Difference

Virginia land trusts are gaining ground.

Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of Virginia's most pressing issues.

  • Tackling climate change: The accredited Eastern Shore Land Conservancy organized a regional climate collaborative of local emergency managers, agency officials, university researchers and representatives of several nonprofits to help communities break out of what has been dubbed the “flood, rebuild, repeat” cycle.

    Read more
  • Addressing community needs: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the accredited Piedmont Environmental Council heightened its investment in food security, particularly the work of its Buy Fresh Buy Local program to connect consumers with local food and farmers.

    Read more
  • Protecting water quality: The accredited Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust is working with landowners to have a 100-foot buffer in between their agricultural operations and any body of water in order to maintain local drinking water quality and for people to enjoy the region’s famous blue crabs and oysters in the years to come.

    Read more