Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services awarded Virginia Beach with an $87,000 grant. The money will be used to permanently preserve working farm lands in the city with purchase developing rights, according to a Commonwealth of Virginia news release.
“In addition to conserving farmlands, these grants will allow Virginia farmers to continue to produce high quality agricultural products that are marketed here and around the world,” McAuliffe wrote in the release. “We will continue to support the Virginia Treasures initiative by conserving working farmlands and forests, and ensure our agriculture and forestry communities remain on the forefront of the new Virginia economy.”
The money is just a fraction of the total $500,000 the state awarded to localities this year, which include Chesapeake and Warren County.
At this point, the PDR programs in Virginia have helped permanently preserve over 11,400 acres on 80 farms in 15 localities statewide.
“This investment will pay environmental dividends for generations to come,” Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward wrote in the release. “Open spaces provide essential human and ecological habitats for the Commonwealth’s communities.”