ALEXANDRIA, VA-The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) is a nonprofit that works to protect land, water, and other areas. Recently, the group obtained a quarter-acre lot on Russell Road. It contains trees and open grass areas along with a vegetative buffer leading to a stream that will help protect the Potomac River and Cameron Run.
“Preservation of this site is a perfect example of what urban land conservation is all about,” said NVCT Executive Director Alan Rowsome. “Small undeveloped natural areas like this one make Alexandria communities more livable and balanced while protecting clean water sources and supporting local wildlife and plant species.”
The property’s location connects and buffers a larger wooded area on the adjacent 15-acre St. Stephens and St. Agnes School property.
Landowner Andy Brown made NVCT’s preservation possible. He remembers playing in the area as a child. The memory of his late mother served as his inspiration for donating the land.
“My mom Jean was a true conservationist and loved walking this lot and sharing its beauty with her friends and grandchildren who called it Big Grassy,” Brown said. “It was always her wish that it remain as open space forever and she asked me to work with NVCT to make it happen.”
NVCT has a formal partnership with the City of Alexandria to identify and protect natural areas under the city’s Open Space Master Plan goals. The organization also stewards seven easements and oversees a small local nature preserve. They also lead several outreach events for residents.
“Our partnership with NVCT is critical in helping to reach the City’s Environmental Action Plan goal to increase open space and improve its environmental quality and management,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. “Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Brown and NVCT’s stewardship, Alexandrians will have even more natural area to enjoy for generations to come.”