Why should I donate an easement?
- An easement ensures that your wishes for the land will be honored forever, with you deciding the terms and conditions of your permanent easement.
- An easement held by the TJSWCD guarantees that the beauty and natural resources you enjoy on your land will be there for future generations.
- All easements held by the TJSWCD protect water resources on your property and downstream.
- The donation of an easement may provide state and/or federal tax benefits for the property owner. Consult a tax attorney for more information.
Why donate an easement to the TJSWCD?
The Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD) has worked with landowners to protect natural resources for almost 80 years. The TJSWCD Easement Program is unique in that it focuses on preserving small properties (or portions of properties) associated with the protection of water resources. The easement program is open to accepting qualifying land parcels from any landowner in the TJSWCD’s area of program responsibility.
The TJSWCD has the legal authority to hold open space easements under the Virginia Open-Space Land Act §10.1-1700. An open-space easement means a nonpossessory interest of a public body in real property…the purposes of which include retaining or protecting natural or open-space values of real property, assuring its availability for agricultural, forestal, recreational, or open-space use, protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, or preserving the historical, architectural or archaeological aspects of real property.
The Program is administered through the Thomas Jefferson Water Resources Protection Foundation (TJWRPF). While the TJWRPF provides administrative functions for the Easement Program, the TJSWCD remains the holder of all easements, decides what easements to accept (upon recommendations from the Foundation), and is responsible for legal enforcement of the easements’ provisions.
The TJSWCD requests a Stewardship Fee for all easements they accept to support the District’s ability to ensure all easements are maintained as the donors intended.
Map of current TJSWCD Easements
Application to donate easement to TJSWCD
Sample whole parcel easement
Sample riparian buffer easement
Easement Program Brochure