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This article was originally published on Richmond Times Dispatch.


“Our natural resources amenities are not to be taken for granted. Like with any business, one cannot assume we can sustain these assets without investing in a plan to protect them.

That is why The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and VIRGINIAforever, recently commissioned a study titled “Virginia’s Return on Investment in Land Conservation.” The study’s most prominent finding is great reason for optimism. For every $1 invested in land conservation, $4 in natural goods and services is returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s economy.

The study quantifies and summarizes the significant economic benefits resulting from investments in state parks, natural areas, forests and working lands.

These benefits include generating jobs and growing local economies through support of outdoor recreation, tourism, forestry, farming and commercial fishing operations; improving quality of life and enhancing economic development through Virginia’s scenic beauty; promoting local government fiscal health by avoiding costs of expensive infrastructure and other municipal services associated with residential property; and improving human health through physical activity of residents and workers who use parks and conserved lands.

We strongly encourage all Virginians to review the full study, which can be found on the Trust for Public Land website at www.tpl.org/va-roi-report…”

Read on at: Richmond Times Dispatch