RICHMOND — This Earth Day, the Virginia Department of Corrections is celebrating the preservation of approximately 3,000 acres at four state prison facilities. Director Harold Clarke announced today that the Department (VADOC) is voluntarily restricting future development on the land.
The VADOC worked with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to protect the acreage. In the process, DCR identified an area at the Deerfield Correctional Center that needed enhanced protection and special management provisions to safeguard a wetland plant community along a waterway.
“This is a good example of agencies working collaboratively to protect threatened resources on state lands,” said Clyde E. Cristman, DCR director. “We look forward to continued collaborations with VADOC and other state agencies.”
The preserved acreage includes the following:
- 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
“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.
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 court house like other deeds, 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.
Protecting lands ultimately promotes a healthier environment and supports a better quality of life. “These agreements serve multiple purposes and work for the good of everyone,” Ms. Lipp said.
More information on the VADOC can be found at www.vadoc.virginia.gov.