RICHMOND — Virginians who are passionate about land conservation efforts and funding outdoor recreation projects may contribute to the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund by donating all, or a portion of, their state tax refunds.
The fund is made up entirely of voluntary contributions. Citizen contributions are used to acquire lands that preserve natural areas as well as for matching grants to local governments to fund outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
The fund supports the Virginia Natural Area Preserve System, which protects some of the state’s best examples of natural communities, and rare plants and animals. Many natural area preserves have parking areas, trails and water access that allow people to study nature, observe wildlife in their habitats and enjoy low-impact recreation opportunities. Visitation to these areas has been overwhelming during the past 12 months of the pandemic.
In 2020, 14 natural area preserves benefited from donations to the fund:
• Antioch Pines, Isle of Wight County
• Camp Branch Wetlands, Floyd County
• Cape Charles, Northampton County
• Cave Hill, Augusta County
• Chestnut Ridge, Giles County
• Crow’s Nest, Stafford County
• Deep Run Ponds, Rockingham County
• Difficult Creek, Halifax County
• Grafton Ponds, York County
• Lyndhurst Ponds, Augusta County
• Pedlar Hills, Montgomery County
• Pinnacle, Russell County
• Poor Mountain, Roanoke County
• The Cedars, Lee County
Contributions may be made on Schedule VAC, Section II which accompanies the individual tax return Form 760 Line 31. To choose the Open Space Recreation and Conservation Fund, taxpayers must write Code Number 68 in the section for voluntary contributions.
To learn more about how the commonwealth benefits from the contributions to this fund go to www.dcr.virginia.gov/checkoff.