Natural Bridge Saved!
- Posted Tuesday, 26th, 2015 By: VCC Category: Conservation Easements, Cultural Heritage, Natural Resources The tags: natural bridge
The Natural Bridge of Virginia, a National Historic Landmark once owned by Thomas Jefferson, certainly deserves preservation for its renowned history. During the process of finding and supporting a suitable buyer and outcome, we found that the surrounding acres also showcase a vast array of natural resources.
The property hosts unique forestlands. Recent Virginia Division of Natural Heritage surveys identified two significant natural forest communities: Appalachian Sugar Maple – Chinquapin Oak – Eastern Red Cedar Forest and Southern Appalachian Limestone Rich Cove Forest.
Limestone features, known as karst, abound on the site. The entire property is underlain by a huge system of caves that safeguard rare fauna. Nine subterranean species are documented on the property, including three that are considered to be globally rare and one species found nowhere else on the planet. There are 11 cave entrances with over 7,000 total feet of surveyed cave passage. The geological history of the property offers a classroom to inform us about how our “ridge and valley” region was formed millions of years ago.
The property is traversed by Cedar Creek that originates just to the west on Short Hills, a prominent mountain range. Potentially, if restored, this spring creek could once again host our native eastern brook trout.
The scenic values of the property are outstanding. The property lies adjacent to U.S. Route 11 and several other roadways, including a Virginia Scenic Byway. From its high points one can view other significant landmarks, such as Peaks of Otter, House Mountain, and the Short Hills Wildlife Management Area. In short, this is a stunning property clearly deserving of preservation.
Valley Conservation Council is honored to have been part of this extraordinary conservation success. There are so many individuals, organizations, and state agencies to thank. We plan to celebrate these contributors at VCC’s annual celebration on September 7, 2014 at the Natural Bridge. Please renew your membership today and mark your calendar to join us for a special occasion at this awesome – and saved — place.
For more information, visit the Natural Bridge website.