The Commonwealth's conservation collaboration

Virginia Land Conservation
& Greenways Conference

April 26-28, 2020 in Harrisonburg, VA

Call for Proposals, Virginia Land Conservation & Greenways Conference

April 26-28, 2020
The Hotel Madison, Harrisonburg, VA

Proposals Due: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Virginia’s United Land Trusts is pleased to invite you to be a part of the 2020 Virginia Land Conservation and Greenways Conference. The three-day conference (Sunday through Tuesday) will provide field trips, educational sessions, and opportunities to network with your colleagues.

In recognition of the Shenandoah Valley’s history as an agricultural landscape, the overall conference theme in 2020 is GROW: growing our economy and communities; growing our influence; growing leadership; growing our audience; and even growing beyond the too-comfortable boundaries of our familiar business-as-usual.

This year, we’ll be accepting proposal submissions through an online form.  Please click to access the full Request for Proposals and submit your session by November 21, 2019.

We welcome any topic you know will be useful and interesting to our audience. Topics not limited to these but here are some suggestions:

–Improving community health through access to trails and outdoor recreation
–Creating and managing public access/recreation on conserved lands
–Conserving farmland to improve food access
–Forests and drinking water supplies
–Soil health

–Land conservation as part of the solution to climate change
–Working with landowners to manage their lands for stormwater runoff, invasive-species control, or carbon sequestration
–Trails and greenways as part of our transportation solution

Community Outreach and Partnerships:
–The demographics of our communities. Is our work relevant to all demographics?
–Case studies of collaborative opportunities in Virginia for land conservation and greenways

Local Economies:
–How outdoor recreation lands can help form communities and become an economic driver for our cities and towns
–Agritourism case studies, highlighting social and economic impacts
–Tourism opportunities and pitfalls

Land and Trails Nuts and Bolts:
–Stewardship dilemmas, e.g., addressing ongoing violations, interpreting older easements
–Advanced stewardship topics such as mitigation, utility siting on conserved land, water-quality improvement initiatives, new opportunities for remote monitoring, etc.
–Financing and completing complicated conservation and greenway projects
–Advanced legal topics in the area of land use, conservation, landowner liability, and tax incentives

–Data Management

Questions about the process? Please contact Sarah Richardson, (804) 225-2048 or Natasha Skelton, (540) 271-0746.

Link to submission form:
View the 2019 Schedule below 
12:00 AM to 5 PMRegistration Desk Open
**Thanks to American Trails for providing the continuing education credits for this conference.
1:00 to 5:00 PMField Trips
5:00 to 6:30 PMSocial Hour, History at the HI Hostel: Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program Uncorked, 7 Nth 2nd St.  

Enjoy a reception at the historic Otis Elevator Company Building, now the HI Hostel Richmond, and casual walking tour after. Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credits are a primary catalyst for the revitalization and ongoing sustainability of historic communities throughout the Commonwealth.  Representatives from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will lead a discussion about this historic building and its recent rehabilitation through the tax credit program.  They will be joined by representatives from Hostel International USA.  
6:30PMDinner on your ownNetworking Dinner for Young Professionals. See Lodging and Attractions page for Good Eats dining options
7:00 PMVirginia Trails Alliance meeting
7:00 AM to 3:00 PMRegistration Desk Open
8:30 to 11:30 AMSTAC Business Meeting & VaULT Business Meeting, **These meetings are held simultaneously.  All are welcome to attend.  Membership is not required.
Noon to 1:15 PM – LunchFood Systems Panel: Jewel Bronaugh, Commissioner of Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Duron Chavis, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Manager of Community Engagement; Heidi Hertz, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry; and introductions by Melicent Miller Virginia Department of Health, Health Improvement Supervisor
1:30 to 3 PMField Trips
1:30 to 3 PMWorkshops A – B – C – D
Session A
  • Protecting Water Quality in Conserved Forest Areas 
Session B
  • Community Land Trusts: Creating and Preserving Community Infrastructure in Urban Landscapes  
Session C
  • Nothing About Us Without Us – Uplifting the Voices of Young People in Outreach and Conservation Work 
Session D
  1. Working with the Development Community for Trails Implementation (45 min.)

  2. Rail Trails – Building Up to Risk Mitigation (45 min.)

3 to 3:30 PMNetworking Break
3:30 to 5 PMWorkshops E – F – G – H
Session E
  1. Succession Planning by Family Forest Owners: What's In The Way? (45 min.)

  2. Not All Tree Cutting is Forestry (45 min.)

Session F
  • Multiple Coastal Resilience Benefits of Natural Features
Session G
  1. Raising the Profile of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail in Virginia (45 min.)

  2. Capacity Building Initiatives for Outdoor Recreation in the Shenandoah Valley

Session H
  • Balancing Conservation Goals and Infrastructure Upgrades (VOF)
6:00 PMEvening event at WestRock – Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and the Land Preservation Tax Credit program
6:30 AM to 12:30 PMRegistration Desk Open
7:00 to 8:00 AMNetworking Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions

Table A, Update on the Virginia Viewshed Register Project: A View to the Future

Table B, My Two Cents – Proposal for a Dedicated Revenue Source for Bike/Ped Infrastructure Funds

Table C, ACEP-ALE program update from Virginia NRCS staff
8:00 to 8:45 AMKeynote Speaker, Speaker: Matthew J. Strickler, Secretary of Natural Resources
9:00 to 10:30 AMWorkshops I – J – K – L
Session I
  1. The Hunting and Angling Contribution to Land Conservation (45 min.)

  2. Historic Preservation and Community Outreach within Underrepresented Communities

Session J
  1. ConserveVirginia: Mapping Virginia’s Priority Lands

Session K
  • Rally SWVA: Paths to Community Progress
Session L
  • Managing Urban Trails (classroom portion)
    Mobile workshop takes place 1:30–3:30.
10:30 to 11:00 AMNetworking Break
11:00 to 11:45 AMSpeaker: Matthew J. Lohr, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Services
Noon to 1:30PMWorkshops M – N – O – P
Session M
  • Curing Title Defects and Obtaining Clear Title to Heirs Property in Virginia 
Session N
  • Keeping Track of What You’ve Got: Easement and Stewardship Data Management 

  • Economic Benefits of Conserved Land on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Lower Chickahominy (45 min.)

Session O
  • Giving Back: Great Valley Bike Entrepreneurs Talk Shop 
Session P
  1. Lewis and Clark Trail in Virginia (45 min.)

  2. The Virginia Mapping Project:  Building an 18th Century Trails Network (45 min.)

1:30 to 3:30PMSession L
  • Managing Urban Trails (field portion)
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.Recreational Trails Program – Motorized Trail Proposals Workshop (1.5 hours)
600 East Main Street, 12th floor, For more information on the Recreational Trails Program, please visit For questions regarding this workshop, contact Jett Johnson at or (804) 371-4918.
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