One of the Pratt family’s nearest neighbors is the 76,000-acre Fort A.P. Hill, one of the largest military training installations on the East Coast. With nearby residential development threatening to encroach on the boundaries of the training facility, the U.S. Army approached the Fund and a wide array of other organizations and agencies to create a zone of open space around Fort A.P. Hiill.

Our Role

Working with our partners and the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program, we facilitated two land conservation agreements at Camden Farm in 2009. One easement—granted to both Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources—conserves 500 acres that contain the site of a 17th century American Indian community. This easement is the country’s first example of the Department of Defense and a state historic preservation office working together to mitigate cultural impacts on a military installation by protecting historic resources outside its boundaries.

The second conservation easement of an additional 182 acres allows the Pratt family to retain legal title to their land and the ability to maintain its current use, while limiting future land use and development options. “It’s important to me to be a part of the natural, historical and cultural legacy we leave for future generations, and this partnership gives me the opportunity to do that,” said John Pratt, owner of Camden Farm.

These two easements are among 3,000 acres of land that have been conserved by a variety of partners, including The Fund, around Fort A.P. Hill. as part of the ACUB program.

Why This Project Matters

In addition to safeguarding the military’s training mission, the buffer preserves valuable wildlife habitat, protects sensitive natural, historic and cultural resources and enhances the quality of life in nearby communities. “The ACUB partnership is a great example of modern conservation, says Reggie Hall, director of the Fund’s Land Conservation Loan Program. “It’s a relationship where everyone wins—the military, the environment and the community. It brings together diverse partners with common goals to achieve uncommon results."

“At Ft. A.P. Hill we are not only protecting wildlife habitat, cultural resources and working landscapes, but we are also helping to ensure that our country’s military will have a place to train as they prepare to defend our nation. Through this ground-breaking partnership, we’re not only protecting history, we’re making history at the Camden Farm.”
–Reggie Hall, Director, Land Conservation Loan Program, The Conservation Fund

Learn more

Virginia Outdoors Foundation
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
National Historic Landmarks Program