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NVCT Celebrates the Protection of an Additional 1100 Acres on the Crow's Nest Peninsula

March 2009 | Virginia

For Immediate Release March 4, 2009

Contact: Mike Nardolilli

703-354-5093 x. 23

mnardolilli@nvct.org

NVCT CELEBRATES THE PROTECTION OF AN ADDITIONAL 1100 ACRES ON THE CROW’S NEST PENINSULA

ANNANDALE VA. (March 4, 2009) Today, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) celebrated the announcement of the acquisition of Phase 2 of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve. The Phase 2 acquisition consists of 1100 acres of the ecologically rare and historically valuable Crow’s Nest Peninsula in Stafford County, Virginia and will be added to the 1770 acres (known as Phase 1) acquired by the Commonwealth and Stafford County last year.

NVCT has long been active in the efforts to preserve Crow’s Nest. In 1997, NVCT acquired a 70 acre Great Blue Heron Nesting Site on Crow’s Nest and added an additional 10 acres in 2005. NVCT founded a citizen’s advisory group called The Trust For Crow’s Nest in order to help raise money for the project and also funded the appraisal used by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Phase 1 acquisition. For Phase 2, NVCT raised $1.3 million itself which will be combined with a variety of private, state and federal sources in order to complete the purchase.

Today, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) celebrated the announcement of the acquisition of Phase 2 of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve. The Phase 2 acquisition consists of 1100 acres of the ecologically rare and historically valuable Crow’s Nest Peninsula in Stafford County, Virginia and will be added to the 1770 acres (known as Phase 1) acquired by the Commonwealth and Stafford County last year.

NVCT has long been active in the efforts to preserve Crow’s Nest. In 1997, NVCT acquired a 70 acre Great Blue Heron Nesting Site on Crow’s Nest and added an additional 10 acres in 2005. NVCT founded a citizen’s advisory group called The Trust For Crow’s Nest in order to help raise money for the project and also funded the appraisal used by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Phase 1 acquisition. For Phase 2, NVCT raised $1.3 million itself which will be combined with a variety of private, state and federal sources in order to complete the purchase.

The Crow’s Nest Peninsula is a 4000 acre wilderness jutting out into the Potomac River approximately 40 miles south of Washington, DC and a little over a mile from a commuter rail station. Conservationists have long identified Crow’s Nest as one of the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s most important and imperiled natural areas. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has assigned the Crow’s Nest Peninsula a designated biodiversity rank of B-2 ("Very High Significance") and Crow’s Nest contains two plant communities which are ranked globally imperiled (G2) by The Nature Conservancy (6 to 20 occurrences worldwide).

In addition, Crow’s Nest lies within the view shed of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and preservation will keep the land looking as it did when Pocahontas was abducted off the shores of Crow’s Nest by Samuel Argall in 1613. The area is also chock-full of historic resources (47 archeological sites and 56 isolated finds have already been identified) including Native American encampments, domestic farmsteads, gravesites, and Civil War encampment areas. In 2006, the Washington Smart Growth Alliance designated the Crow’s Nest Peninsula as one of the Washington, DC region’s Top Six Conservation Priorities.

Upon the release of the announcement, NVCT Vice Chairman and Founder Richard Bliss commented that "NVCT is pleased to join with our governmental and private partners to celebrate this landmark achievement that will preserve this priceless national treasure for the enjoyment of future generations." Paul Milde, a Member of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and one who was intimately familiar with the negotiations, remarked that "NVCT has been an indispensible partner in the process and this acquisition could not have happened without them."

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NVCT is an award winning charity that saves nearby nature by helping local governments and private landowners voluntarily preserve natural areas, trails, streams and parks. Founded in 1994, NVCT has preserved 4,268 acres in Northern Virginia. NVCT currently holds 90 conservation easements and owns 17 properties, including 70 acres protecting one of the largest Great Blue Heron nesting sites in the lower Potomac region. In 2008, NVCT was accredited by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, one of only 39 accredited land trusts (out of 1700) in the country and the only land trust operating in either Virginia or the Washington, DC area to be so honored. In 2006-2007, NVCT was a Catalogue for Philanthropy selection for one of the best small nonprofits in the Washington DC area.

Participants in NVCT’s Outdoor Programs have contributed more than 4000 volunteer hours, including the planting of 1500 native trees and the removal of tons of invasive species from parks and conserved lands. NVCT events also include guided kayak trips on local rivers and hikes led by knowledgeable experts. Participants enjoy the beauty of our area and gain a better appreciation of the importance of "Saving Nearby Nature."

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