Rappahannock Record June 8, 2022
BAYVIEW—The Northern Neck Land Conservancy got news this week that the River Counties Community Foundation has awarded it a grant to help create public access opportunities on the organization’s Bayview property, which is on the water in Northumberland County.
The grant-funded project is titled Welcome to Bayview: Securing Expert Planning for Public Water and Trails Access. Currently, the 223-acre parcel of land is relatively overgrown and inaccessible.
This year, Nature Conservancy Virginia and Resource Environmental Solutions are restoring wetlands on the property. A few local environmental groups like Northern Neck Master Naturalists and Northern Neck Audubon Society are also visiting Bayview by special arrangement to help record information about its wildlife populations.
But the Land Conservancy’s board of directors and staff envision much more—a future public area with nature trails and a kayak/canoe launch that can be explored by educators and students from public schools in Northumberland, Lancaster and Richmond counties, as well as educators from The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School and Rappahannock Community College.
“We’re just getting started, and thanks to River Counties Community Foundation we can get the expert advice we need to plan optimal education opportunities, scenic views and recreation opportunities,” said executive director Lisa Biever. “We want Bayview to be as universally accessible as possible, and we want any construction to be as ecologically sensitive as possible.”
Specifically, the grant request is to support a study and project plans that provide Northern Neck Land Conservancy ample information to build the envisioned public access features and tell the impact story of regional land conservation. Funding from the River Counties Community Foundation grant will cover about half of the resources needed for soil testing, engineering and designing the best educational and recreational features for the planned trail, not to mention the extensive permitting applications and hearings required to comply with wetlands protection regulations.
“I’m most interested in the opportunities to get the local community involved in our conservation work,” said stewardship director Drew Gladwell. “Bayview is a beautiful place. More people should have the chance to benefit from it. We’re thankful to the Community Foundation for this vote of confidence and for their support.”
Everyone can join in conserving the Northern Neck. Visit nnconserve.org to learn more about creating a conservation easement, donating or becoming involved with the Northern Neck Land Conservancy.
Tickets go on sale later this month for Boots and Barbecue 2022, September 17 at Waterloo Farm, on the water in King George County. Event sponsors can register now at nnconserve.org/home/boots2022.