SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam dedicated Piney Grove Flatwoods as Virginia’s 66th natural area preserve on Tuesday. The area has 446 acres of woodlands in Sussex County — and is home to numerous rare species like the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
The new preserve is part of the 10,000-acre conservation area that also includes Big Woods State Forest, Big Woods Wildlife Management Area and The Nature Conservancy’s Big Woods.
“We have worked hard to preserve more than 120,000 additional acres to benefit Virginians,” said Gov. Northam. “Virginia’s natural area preserves have protected many of our rarest ecosystems, water quality, cultural heritage sites, and scenic views. Conservation efforts like this allow species to adapt to changing climates and are key to protecting Virginia’s environment.”
The Nature Conservancy received a grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation in 2020 to purchase Piney Grove Flatwoods Natural Area Preserve.