Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy completed the purchase of JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary from JK Moving Services on Tuesday, March 10th. Over the last 20 months, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has leased the property from JK Moving Services, completing their first habitat restoration project in November. Last year, JK Moving placed the property under a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Virginia to permanently protect the property from future development. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program has previously studied the property and determined that it contains a globally rare wetland due to its unique geological setting and zoological resources.
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s vision for JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary is to forever preserve and enhance its globally rare wetlands by protecting the sensitive vernal pools, unique geological setting, and the rich amphibian and wildlife populations. Additionally, to serve as a model and catalyst to conserve adjacent lands, and to create an ecologically significant sanctuary for the conservation and study of native wildlife.
In order to raise the funds necessary to complete the purchase, the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy engaged The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy studied the property, and deemed it was suitable to create additional wetlands on the property. Support from The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, and individual donors made it possible for Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to purchase the property.
“In our 25th year, we are excited to be purchasing land for the first time in our history. We are extremely thankful for Chuck and Stacy Kuhn’s support to purchase the property and resell it to us at a conserved value, and we are grateful for funding from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund to be able to complete the purchase. We’re looking forward to working with The Nature Conservancy to further enhance the wildlife habitat at the site,” states Michael Myers, Executive Director of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy will work together to ensure the long-term protection of the property and the tremendous conservation values it holds. The wetlands restoration project will further enhance the habitat for wildlife and overall ecological diversity. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy also plans to work with local students and adults to conduct citizen science projects studying amphibians, birds, butterflies, and other species on the property as it does elsewhere throughout the county.
Donations can be made to assist with future stewardship costs here.