Saving 520 acres of Nearby Nature in Fairfax County
The Trust’s work started in Fairfax County in 1994, and we now hold 35 conservation easements and own four parcels. We protect important land in a county that has experienced incredible development and growth.
Land conservation preserves open space, enhances tree canopy, and protects water quality. More than half of NVCT’s portfolio includes riparian protection areas, or the land along the river or stream bank. This natural solution helps curb the effects of polluted runoff and subsequently helps the county reach its Chesapeake Bay ordinance goals.
These lands also provide wildlife habitat and have an important role as part of the green corridors of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. For example, the wetlands on one parcel owned by the Trust protects properties far inland by reducing storm impacts on land areas.
Landowners in Fairfax have worked with the Trust to protect notable sites like these:
- Five properties bordering the Potomac River;
- Seven historic sites, including Oak Hill in Annandale (read more), the historic farmhouse at Thompson Farm, Eight Oaks in McLean, the Oakton Trolley, and Four Stairs in Great Falls;
- A conservation easement along Indian Run Stream Valley that protects undeveloped wooded land that could have been a site for heavy industry;
- The 226-acre Elklick Woodlands Natural Area Preserve, owned by Fairfax County Park Authority, is a rare type of forest that has nearly disappeared across the globe.
- Dozens of properties that protect designated Chesapeake Bay Areas along streams, have a positive impact on water quality and habitat downstream.
The Trust has been closely involved with the planning process recently for public use of open space at three locations in Fairfax County:
- Considering the use of 41.5 acres surrounding Salona, the iconic historic property in McLean, as parkland, on land with a conservation easement ;
- Participating in neighborhood meetings that resulted in a conservation-minded outcome for a streamside parcel placed for sale;
- Contributing to the park planning process for the seven-acre Ruckstuhl property, which NVCT conserved with landowner Dr. Lily Ruckstuhl and then transferred into public ownership (read more).
NVCT is available to hear about community concerns as well as to talk with landowners about protecting important lands.
Open space and natural areas in Fairfax County
This map shows public land and parks in dark green, NVCT conserved lands marked with red dots, and other private easements in bright green. Click on the map below to see a larger version.