VA Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund

Virginia Outdoors Foundation


Grant amount: US $750 - US $11,500

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Working Professional Indigenous Group For-Profit Business Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Virginia

Location of residency: Virginia

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Overview:

Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund

In 1997, the Virginia General Assembly created the Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (PTF) (Virginia Code §10.1-1801.1) to help with costs of conveying an open-space or conservation easement, which can be prohibitive for some landowners. Funding for the program varies by year and is often very limited. Some examples of costs that can be covered are fees charged by VOF, attorneys and appraisers. In addition, localities throughout the Commonwealth may apply for assistance from PTF to jumpstart programs for the purchase of development rights (PDR) or to support existing PDR programs.

Payments

The VOF fees will be deducted from the award with the remainder available for the landowners’ expenses once recordation has occurred. Applicants are encouraged to talk to their lawyer and appraiser prior to completing the application and may request a higher award with cost estimates. 

Please understand that the legal, appraisal and any other services contracted by you in the process of donating your easement are solely your responsibility. VOF cannot release PTF funds until after your conservation easement is recorded at the local courthouse. If you do not record your easement, you will be responsible to your vendors for any costs incurred on your behalf. Further, the PTF award may not fully cover your costs; it may be beneficial to discuss payment options with your vendors at the outset of process.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Does My Land Qualify?
    • Each proposed conservation or open-space easement is evaluated for its scenic, scientific, natural, historic, recreational, or open-space value by VOF staff and Board of Trustees.
    • The evaluation is based on VOF’s Guidelines and takes into account the priorities listed above, including financial need.

Preferences:

  • Priority is given to applicants with family farms and who demonstrate significant financial need.
  • Priority funding will be given to landowners with an average income of $63,000 or less; a sliding-scale listed below indicates funding at lower amounts which may be available for incomes over $63,000 for specified costs.
  • Limited funds are available for purchase of easements and currently, VOF is prioritizing purchase of easement proposals that provide for public access opportunities.