RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Five Virginia localities will receive $875,000 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Office of Farmland Preservation in funding to place working farmlands and forests under permanent conservation easements.

The recipients of the grant funding include the following localities:

  • Clarke County
  • City of Chesapeake
  • Fauquier County
  • City of Virginia Beach
  • Stafford County

Each locality will provide matching funds to support local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs — limiting development in priority farm and forest lands.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the grant recipients on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

“Virginia is home to approximately 16 million acres of forests and over 7.7 million acres of farmland and we are proud to support the preservation of these natural resources,” Youngkin said. “Farms and working forests are the foundation of Virginia’s rural economy, and farmland preservation benefits landowners, local communities, and the environment.”