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New state park to be created in Loudoun County near Purcellville

Governor Bob McDonnell announced that his administration has reached an agreement that will result in a 600-acre state park in Loudoun County.
“Thanks to the generosity of several outstanding Virginians, the state will be able to add a scenic new park to its award winning state park system,” Governor McDonnell said. “I want to commend Robert and Dee Leggett, whose foundation acquired land that became the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Loudoun County and will benefit future generations as a Virginia State Park.”

Located in Western Loudoun County, the Old Dominion Land Conservancy of Purcellville has reached an agreement with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to donate 600 acres of woodlands and pasture to the Commonwealth for development of a state park.

The conservancy received the land from the Leggett Foundation. The property includes historic farmsteads, deep woods and wildflower meadows, and borders the Appalachian Trail.

Much of the land witnessed action of Mosby’s Rangers and others during the Civil War, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“Through the work of the Leggett Foundation and now the Old Dominion Land Conservancy, lands of both natural and historic significance have been preserved in an area of the state where such lands are rapidly disappearing,” said McDonnell.
The transaction giving the Commonwealth final ownership is expected to close later this year.

“This is an exciting development that will benefit Virginians and visitors to Virginia forever,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resource Doug Domenech. “Having lived in Loudoun County for 16 years, I know firsthand how important this Park will be to many individuals, organizations, and officials in Loudoun County.”

“I want to thank Secretary Domenech and the staff at State Parks, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Governor for all their work to make this happen,” said Bob Leggett.  “I have enjoyed this land for a long time and now I am pleased to share it with the people of the state.”

Delegate Dave LaRock, who represents the district in which the parkland is located, said “I’m excited about this new parkland being made available and thankful for the Leggett’s generosity and Governor McDonnell and Secretary Domenech’s efforts to bring this to pass. This Park will be a great addition to Western Loudoun’s already-vibrant winery and tourism industries.”

State Sen. Richard Black, who represents part of Prince William County and part of Loudoun County, was quoted by the governor’s office. “As a lifelong outdoorsman who grew up in the Everglades of Florida, I have a fine appreciation for State Parks. I want to thank Governor McDonnell and Robert and Dee Leggett for their fine work in acquiring such a beautiful tract of land for public enjoyment.  Such a beautiful addition to our state park system will certainly add to the tourism industry in Northern Virginia.”

Virginia has 36 state parks open for the public. This new property will join state lands in Stafford, Shenandoah, Gloucester, Henry and Albemarle counties that are in various stages of development as future state parks. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will work to develop master plans for the Loudoun County property once acquisition is completed, the news release said.

Virginia State Parks host more than eight million visits per year with an annual economic impact to the surrounding communities of approximately $206 million. State parks help local economies generate more than $12 for every $1 of general fund money allocated to state parks in the state budget, according to the governor’s office.

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