Photo Essay: Preserving Agricultural Lands and Rural Culture

Working with Farmers to Save Healthy Lands, Clean Water, and Rural Communities


Essay by Tracy Lind
Potomac Conservancy Director of Land Protection

Private lands protected with conservation easements provide a variety of benefits for everyone and everything

Every meal on our plate and almost all beverages contain ingredients that were grown on a farm. We need land to grow food, and we need healthy soils and clean water to grow crops efficiently for an ever-growing population.

However, poor planning and lack of consideration for saving healthy soils for food production put these agricultural lands at risk of being fragmented and paved over for development.

According to American Farmland Trust, the United States is losing 50 acres of farm and ranchland an hour to sprawl and development.

Since 1993, Potomac Conservancy has been working one-on-one with landowners and partner organizations to preserve private agricultural and forested lands through conservation easements. We work with landowners, like Larry, to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) on farmlands to improve water quality and restore local streams and creeks.

All of our easements - 72 in total -  have forested or naturally vegetated stream banks that filter nutrients, protect against erosion, and keep livestock from entering and polluting waterways.

Scroll through the images below to see how we all benefit from the preservation of agricultural lands and rural culture, and check out these other great photo essays in our series “Everyone Benefits from Land Preservation.”


Interested in Land Conservation?

Would you or someone you know like to leave a legacy by protecting the natural resources, beautiful scenery, and unique characteristics of his or her land with a conservation easement? Or, would you like to learn how you can support private land conservation?

Visit for more details or contact me, Tracy, at 540-667-3606 or at our Winchester, Virginia office.


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