Clarke historic site may get help
Posted: December 13, 2012
Star staff report
RICHMOND — Two Clarke County properties totaling 208 acres are being preserved with help from state grant money, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday.
One hundred-forty acres of the Chapman Farm in the Cool Spring Battlefield and 68 acres of the Moore & Dorsey orchard tract are among 12 sites that will share $1.55 million from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF).
The funds will help to add 1,642 acres of working farms and forests, historic sites, natural areas and parks and open space to Virginia’s conservation land base, a press release states.
“These projects represent a wealth of opportunities for land conservation protecting a host of natural and historical resources across the commonwealth,” McDonnell said. “Preserving these lands also provides other benefits such as protecting water quality and, in some cases, providing public access for recreation.”
The Chapman Farm received a $98,604 grant in the Historic Areas Category, and the Moore & Dorsey tract was awarded $60,203 in the Farmlands and Forestry Category.
Both properties are in eastern Clarke County off Harry Byrd Highway (Va. 7), and conservation easements on them are being purchased by the VLCF in partnership with the Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority.
Part of Chapman Farm is in the Cool Spring Battlefield Historic Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the release, permanent protection of Chapman Farm will enhance efforts by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to place easements on other large portions of Cool Spring Battlefield.
It also will conserve prime farmland and a half-mile of frontage on the Shenandoah River.
The Moore & Dorsey land has been held by those families for more than 50 years. The 68-acre tract and an additional 800 acres were recently converted to cropland from apple orchards due to a downturn in the apple industry, according to the release.
The farm uses best-management practices, and a wildlife habitat will be implemented next year using native warm-season grasses, wildflowers and shrubs.
Other grant recipients include: the Crew House at Malvern Hill; Messick Farm in Fauquier County; Sundance LLC in Rockingham County; Belmont Bay Farm Phase I in southeast Fairfax County; Jackson House at Ball’s Bluff; and Prillaman Farm/Gabriel Jones Farm in the core and study areas of Port Republic Battlefield.