The Northern Neck Land Conservancy received the 2021 Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award for Meritorious Achievement in Conservation from the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) on Wednesday, October 20.

Conservancy President, Capt. Stuart Ashton, Jr., USN Ret. accepted the award on behalf of the organization’s board members, staff and many generous regional landowners. The Garden Club’s Conservation Forum was cancelled this year so a local awards event was held at Mount Zion, a beautifully restored historic home in Lottsburg. Owned by the Cowart family, Mount Zion showcases the Northern Neck Land Conservancy’s work to convene forward-thinking landowners, conservation funders and land preservation allies for the greater good of the Northern Neck.

The Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award is presented to an organization, industry or individual that demonstrates outstanding service in the conservation and wise development of the natural resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Past recipients include Christine and Frederick Andreae and the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary, Nansemond River Preservation Alliance, and the Piedmont Environmental Council. 

The Garden Club of the Northern Neck nominated Northern Neck Land Conservancy for the award to recognize its steadfast commitment for more than 17 years to preserve the rural heritage of our region and conserve its lands, waters, economies and culture for future generations. In this time, the conservancy has secured 6,100 acres of land — a strategy that permanently preserves the Northern Neck’s many assets.

“Our organization founders understood the immense value of the Northern Neck — our open spaces, abundant wildlife, and our rural heritage,” said Stu Ashton. “We can all be grateful for their vision, effort and expertise. Northern Neck Land Conservancy is benefitting us all now and it will continue to do so for years to come.”

A number of Northern Neck leaders gathered to celebrate as GCV Conservation Award Committee Chair Jane Edwards and Northern Neck Garden Club President Laurie McCord recognized the conservancy. The gathering included easement donor Lake Cowart, Land Conservancy founding board member Mary Louisa Pollard, past conservancy Presidents Steve Walker and Lawrence Latane, and new Executive Director Lisa Biever, along with several other board and staff members and supporters.

Everyone can join in conserving our region’s lands, water, economies and culture. Visit to learn more about creating a conservation easement, making a donation or getting involved with the Northern Neck Land Conservancy.

A note from our Board Chair and Executive Director

July 1st, 2020

We wanted to keep you informed of Northern Neck Land Conservancy activities during this unprecedented time.

NNLC’s work, conserving the land you love, continues. If you need to contact us, please do so through email We will respond to you in a timely manner!

We encourage you to get outside, with appropriate social distances, and enjoy the beauty that is the NNK.

Boots and BBQ 2021

After much thoughtful discussion, we want to let you know that we have decided to reinvent NNLC’s major outreach and fundraising event – Boots and BBQ. The NNLC Board of Directors felt there are several items that could impact holding a large community event.  Rest assured; we are making plans for the new “Boots”.

Stay well.
Stuart Ashton Board President
Jim Russell, Executive Director (Acting)

NNLC work goes on in the field and online!

“You can help keep the Northern Neck bountiful and clean.”

More New Land Conserved

NNLC is pleased to have just conserved a stunning historic 564-acre area of land. The Haywood Farm is nestled on the Potomac River, just a stone’s throw from the George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument. A huge thank you to our conservation partners, the property owners, the Latane family, the Trust for Public Land and the Navy who authorized Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) funding for the easement.

Farm pond on the Haywood Easement
NNLC and Nature Conservancy Board Members view the Bayview site along Balls Creek.

Just in Time for Earth Day:
New Partnership Conserves Special Land in Northumberland

Lancaster, Va. — To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy have announced their new partnership to protect an ecologically-significant property in Virginia’s Northern Neck.

Last month, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy secured an environmentally-sensitive, 225-acre site near Dameron Marsh in Northumberland County. Known locally as “Bayview,” the site is located near the intersection of Balls Neck Road and Balls Lane and has extensive Balls Creek and Chesapeake Bay frontage.

Click here to read full article

Mt. Zion Farm Conserved

Lancaster, VA Since 2004, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy has partnered with conservation-minded landowners to place over 5,000 acres of Northern Virginia in conservation easements. Their conservation work is driven by a desire to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Northern Neck, a peninsula of Virginia bordered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers.

Click here to read full article

Ditchley’s Unique Journey to Conservation

Northern Neck Land Conservancy
Protecting the Land – Celebrated

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy (NNLC) celebrated its fifteenth anniversary with its annual fund raiser and garden party, Boots & BBQ, September 28, 2019. A sold-out event with well over 300 people in attendance, the gathering was held at the historic Ditchley property which is now a working farm, cidery and a private event venue.

Sunny calm weather, historic venue, made-on-site hard cider, beer and wine, great music (the Gurleys) and fabulous food (Angelo’s of Montross) was savored and enjoyed by all in attendance. Many conservation easement holders were in attendance and this celebration was, in part, a tribute to their progressive outlook to preserve their land in perpetuity.

Presenting Sponsor Chesapeake Bank/Chesapeake Wealth Management contributed generously not only to the event, but also to the year-round operation of the Northern Neck Land Conservancy. Also, in honor of NNLC’s 15th Anniversary, the inaugural Conservers of the Land donor group was created and counted James River Equipment, Mason Brent, Susan and Jack Moore, Pat and Bridget Neill, Mary Louisa and Albert Pollard and Paul and Rosemary Trible among its members. Additional corporate support came from B.H. Baird, Atlantic Union Bank, River Counties Community Foundation, the Vogt Family Foundation and Geise Farms.

Northern Neck Land Conservancy Earns National Recognition

Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence

Lancaster, VA (Nov. 6, 2019) – One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 2004, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy (NNLC), has been doing just that for the people of the Northern Neck. Now that NNLC has announced it has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

Preserve the Land You Love

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy is a small non-profit land trust on the Northern Neck of Virginia, a peninsula located between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and bordering the Chesapeake Bay. Water surrounds our area and in order to keep it bountiful and safe for fishing, crabbing, swimming and drinking, we need a clean environment with protected stream banks, expansive woodlands, attentive farming and citizens who choose to safeguard the environment from pollutants. We help landowners who want to voluntarily protect their lands with permanent conservation easements to ensure that their property sustains the rural character of the Northern Neck and maintains a healthy environment for future generations. Check out what we are doing by reading this local news article!

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PO BOX 697

Warsaw, VA 22572


An Accredited Land Trust