The 2017 Virginia Outdoor Survey found that protection of natural areas is Virginians’ most sought out and needed outdoor recreation resource.
As 2018 wraps up, with tax season is right around the corner. Virginians who want to make conservation part of their New Year’s resolutions may contribute to the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund by donating all or a portion of their state tax refunds.
The 1100-acre Natural Area Preserve Pedlar Hills Glades in Montgomery County benefits from the fund protecting some of the state’s best examples of natural communities, and rare plants and animals.
Other preserves include Crow’s Nest in Stafford County, The Cedars in Lee County, Cowbane Prairie in Augusta County all housing rare and endangered plants and landscape.
The fund is used to acquire natural lands for recreation or conservation, and to develop and maintain public park facilities.
It is also used to provide matching grants for local outdoor-recreation projects.
Twenty-one natural area preserves in the state have parking areas, trails and water access that allow people to study nature, learn about wildlife habitats and enjoy outdoor recreation.
Donations have also been used for local park projects, including a playground in Accomack County and infrastructure upgrades at King-Lincoln Park in Newport News.
Contributions may be made on Part II of Schedule VAC, which accompanies the individual tax return Form 760 Line 33. To choose the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund, taxpayers must write Code Number 68 in the section for voluntary contributions.