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December 5, 2008

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to donate conservation easement to Williamsburg Land Conservancy for protection of Route 132 easement

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will donate a conservation easement to the Williamsburg Land Conservancy on 82 acres of land east of Route 132. The easement will provide permanent viewshed protection for a three-quarter mile segment of highway between Queens Creek and Bypass Road. Most of the property, 68 acres, is located in York County with a smaller portion, 14 acres, lying in the City of Williamsburg.

“In conjunction with the conservation easement on 230 acres across Route 132 previously granted to the Williamsburg Land Conservancy, this conservation easement will protect scenic views along both sides of the entry to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area from Interstate 64,” said Foundation President Colin G. Campbell.

Like the earlier easement, also donated to the Williamsburg Land Conservancy, this conservation easement will prohibit development of the property and preserve its predominantly wooded character.

“The Conservancy is excited to work once again with Colonial Williamsburg to protect a key scenic property,” said Tim Cleary, chairman of the Williamsburg Land Conservancy's board of directors. “We commend the Foundation and its board for their commitment to conservation.”

Caren Schumacher, executive Director of the Williamsburg Land Conservancy, noted that Route 132 is designated as a scenic entry corridor on both the City of Williamsburg and York County comprehensive plans.

The property, acquired by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1956, contains a mature deciduous forest and 25 acres of wetlands bordering Queens Creek and its tributaries. An archaeological survey indicated evidence of historic and prehistoric archaeological resources on the property.

Founded in 1990, the Williamsburg Land Conservancy was the first private non-profit land trust in Virginia incorporated specifically to use the provisions of the Virginia Conservation Easement Act. The conservancy is dedicated to protecting and preserving significant natural, scenic, agricultural and historic land in the James and York Rivers watersheds. The conservancy strives to maintain the character and ambiance of the area through a combination of land preservation tools, education and advocacy programs, and shaping public policy.

This donation represents the second large easement donated to the Williamsburg Land Conservancy within the last 60 days. In November, the group accepted a 190-acre conservation easement in upper James City County. With the addition of the property east of Route 132, the Conservancy will protect a total of 3,300 acres in the Historic Triangle area.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265



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