This post is a mere announcement to be followed by further posts, in depth, considering the impact of Conservation Easement. As readers of this website probably realize, Holy Cross Abbey had put some 200 acres of the northwest end of the property into Conservation Easement through Clarke County channels and the agency of her officials.
This past Wednesday, Abbot Robert Barnes, acting on behalf of the monastic community, signed the contract to put some 900 acres of our land, the Battlefield of Cool Spring Battle (18 July, 1864), into easement with the Civil War Trust. By this act, the land is guaranteed as green space as well as preserving its historic resources in perpetuity. This step has involved the sacrifice of a significant number of building rights on the property and any industrial development of the land or its resources.
Given Shenandoah University’s Easement of the land across the River, also with the Civil War Trust, almost the entire site of the Battlefield will be preserved and a significant swath of land along the Shenandoah can be healed to permit biodiversity to flourish again. This is a significant contribution to the ecological balance of the Shenandoah River and of green space in Clarke County.
Each aspect of the data here, and the implications and challenges to each of us, will be explored in future posts.