Marking 50th Anniversary, Historic James Greenbelt Corporation Transfers Original James River Park Protections to CRLC
Richmond, VA – After 50 years since first protecting the land at Huguenot Flatwater and facilitating a gift of more than 31 acres to the City of Richmond to become part of the James River Park System, the Historic James Greenbelt Corporation (“HJGC”) has transferred its real estate interests to the Capital Region Land Conservancy (“CRLC”).
In 1972, shortly after the General Assembly designated portions of the James River in the City of Richmond as the Historic Falls of the James Scenic River and John W. “Jack” Keith, Jr. (1927-2008) and Charles J. “Joe” Schaefer (1927-2014) gifted several islands and land between Reedy Creek and Powhite Creek to the City to become the James River Park System, other landowners were keen on doing the same. The Historic James Greenbelt Corporation was thus founded with the purpose of facilitating “dual charitable objectives of opening to public enjoyment in their natural states the historic falls of the James River and portions of the immediate environs now in private ownership and of preserving the ecology thereof as a ‘greenbelt’.”
James Durrette Carneal Jr. (1899-1973) and his wife Margaret Addison Carneal (1902-1991) made their gift of 23.25 acres at Huguenot Flatwater on February 1, 1973. John Joseph May (1908-1995) and Florene Mahoney May (1909-2005) followed with a gift of 7.07 acres at Huguenot Flatwater on February 15, 1973. On February 23, 1973, John W. Pearsall Jr. (1914-2012) and Laila Wheary Pearsall (1914-2012) gifted 1.42 acres along Riverside Drive near Pony Pasture. Historic James Greenbelt Corporation then deeded the lands at Huguenot Flatwater to the City of Richmond in May 1973 and the balance in May 2001.
As CRLC co-holds with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation the conservation easement on the James River Park System that was recorded in 2009, it was fitting for HJGC to transfer their real estate interests to CRLC. The original deeds to HJGC and thence to the City included restrictions that served to protect the land. The deeds prohibited the development of “any industrial, commercial, advertising, or mercantile function” as well as required “good husbandry and conservation practices” to support scenic and ecological qualities of the property. HJGC had a third-party right of enforcement in a clause that allowed it to take back ownership should the City fail to fulfill these obligations or correct violations. CRLC’s acceptance of this real estate interest will thus continue the legal legacy of protecting portions of the park that date well before the current conservation easement and consolidate enforcement efforts.
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About Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC): Incorporated in March 2005 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, CRLC seeks to conserve and protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations. Visit www.capitalregionland.org to learn more about CRLC’s land conservation programs.
For more information: Contact Parker C. Agelasto, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org and 202-302-0153