$2.4 million. That’s how much the Capital Region Land Conservancy — a nonprofit land trust devoted to conservation in Central VA — spent to protect 40+ acres of riverfront land.
The privately-owned property is located at the falls of the Appomattox River in Chesterfield. Matoaca District Supervisor Kevin Carroll said the county has had its eye on the land for a while. It’s set to become part of a public park system stretching six miles along the north side of the river.
CRLC says the purchase will:
- Safeguard the local wildlife corridor
- Further connect the Appomattox River Trail network + the upcoming Fall Line Trail
- Provide river access to VSU students
Located at the narrowest point of the river, the property is home to a host of natural + historic resources.
Endangered fish such as the Atlantic Sturgeon + American Shad have been known to navigate the falls. The area is also a habitat for bald eagles and migratory birds.
The ruins of multiple former mills, canals, and dams can be found across 16 islands. The first one dates back to 1791. The velocity of the Class 3 rapids in the area powered lumber, corn, and textile industries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Once the land is transferred to Chesterfield County, future improvements like walking trails, shelters, a kayak launch + interpretive signage are all on the table.