$3M Deposit Made for Jamestown Protection (VA)

Jamestown, VA, January 3, 2006: The nonprofit Trust for Public Land announced that a $3 million deposit was made today toward the purchase of 198 acres in Jamestown. The funds were wired by James City County, which unanimously approved $2.9 million for the purchase at its December 13 Board of Supervisors meeting. The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit land conservation organization, has a contract to purchase the Jamestown Campsites and Yacht Basin properties on the James River and Powhatan Creek and has been working with the county and other partners to secure funds for the $12.5 million purchase. The contract stipulates that the $3 million deposit must be made now in order to have an additional year to raise funds and make the purchase by December 2006.

To date, TPL and the county have secured $2 million in federal funds through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), $3 million from the state budget through the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and $750,000 from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund.

At the time of the county’s approval of funds, Michael J. Brown, Chairman of the James City County Board of Supervisors said, “This purchase supports our commitment set forth in our Comprehensive and Strategic Management Plans to steward the natural environment and historic heritage in James City County. We are pleased to work with our partners in this endeavor.”

“This purchase is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and this is a very significant step in the protection of this property,” said Debi Osborne, senior project manager for The Trust for Public Land. Osborne has been negotiating with the Vermillion family for the purchase.

The land is a high priority for protection because of its prominent location, important historic resources and irreplaceable recreation opportunities and has been a longtime focus of James City County, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and the National Park Service.

The available land is highly developable, and its protection is important to maintain the integrity of Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, and the Jamestown 2007 commemoration being planned on and near the site for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. The proposed purchase will protect the site planned for Anniversary Park, the centerpiece of the events being planned for the Jamestown 2007 commemoration.

The Jamestown Campsites tract is a private campground with frontage on the James River. The site was part of the Revolutionary War Battle of Green Spring, where troops torched the plantation of Sir William Berkeley, Royal governor of the Virginia colony. The Jamestown Yacht Basin and Marina serves as an important public amenity on Powhatan Creek, providing boating access to the James River and water tours of Jamestown Island. Acquisition of the marina property will protect on-site and nearby historic and archaeological resources and ensure public access to the James River, as well as conserve 65 acres of marshland.

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than two million acres nationwide, including more than 16,000 acres in Virginia. For more information visit www.tpl.org or www.jccEgov.com.