Urban Land Protected from Worst-Case scenario

Urban Conservation in FairfaxThe rapid pace of growth in Fairfax County, Virginia, makes conserving urban natural lands all the more precious.

A 5-1/2 acre conservation easement in the center of this urban county is a prime example: It buffers the Indian Run Stream Valley Park, yet is next to office buildings and a street. For landowner Tom Cafferty and Cafferty-Indian Run LLC, that presents an opportunity to get people out to enjoy nature. He maintains a public walking trail with a natural, mulch surface through the wooded property so office workers and nearby residents can experience nearby nature. It is home to urban wildlife on a green corridor that follows the stream, and it gives kids a place to play and enjoy.

What makes it even more significant is that the land is zoned for heavy industry.

Urban conservation easementImagine what building an industrial plant would have meant to the health of Indian Run as it flows into the Potomac River, to the view from the adjacent office park, to the neighbors living in the nearby residential neighborhood, and to the people who enjoy the Indian Run Stream Valley Park. That’s a lot of “what could have been.” Cafferty himself is no stranger to land conservation–he and his wife donated a conservation easement in Great Falls, VA, 10 years ago, and he is committed to conserving natural resources and to making the community more livable.