RICHMOND, Va. — In honor of Earth Day last week, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) announced that it would preserve about 3,000 acres of land at four state prison facilities, restricting any future development of the acreage.
The preserved acreage was divided up as follows:
• Greensville Correctional Center in Jarrett: 428 acres
• Deep Meadow Correctional Center (a portion of the old James River property) in Goochland County: 570 acres
• Powhatan Correctional Center in Powhatan County: 844 acres
• Deerfield Correctional Center (a portion of the old Southampton property) in Capron: 1,157 acres
The VADOC worked with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to protect the land. During the process, DCR identified an area at the Deerfield Correctional Center that needed enhanced protection and special management provisions to conserve a wetland plant community along the on-property waterway.
“This is a good example of agencies working collaboratively to protect threatened resources on state lands,” said Clyde E. Cristman, DCR director, in a statement. “We look forward to continued collaborations with VADOC and other state agencies.”
The protection was achieved through Declarations of Restrictive Covenants and Designations of Open-Space Land. The open-space declarations, which are recorded at the county courthouse, protect VADOC’s property in the counties of Goochland, Powhatan, Greensville and Southampton.
The declarations limit industrial and commercial development, protect the land for agriculture and forestry, preserve natural resources and protect VADOC’s buffer areas. VADOC will continue to own, use and maintain responsibility for the protected lands. The 3,000-acre preservation is among the largest ever by a state agency whose mission does not include land conservation.
“This was an innovative opportunity for agencies with very different missions in two Secretariats to collaborate on a project to benefit both agencies, the counties of Goochland, Powhatan, Greensville, and Southampton, as well as the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Kimberley Lipp, VADOC’s chief of architecture and engineering services, in a statement.