For Larry Vance and his family, Island Ford Farm is more than just a parcel of land. The farm is a part of their family's heritage that goes back generations. Over 100 years, in fact.

Nestled along the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, the 180-acre farm is home to healthy forests, pastures, croplands, and the occasional double rainbow, if you're lucky!

Larry and his brother were raised on the farm by their mother, who in turn was raised there by her mother. The family cherishes their rural way of life and the land they call home.

But over the years as destructive sprawl spread into the Shenandoah Valley, his family began to fear for the future of their farm.

Larry watched bulldozers pave over nearby farms, turning once verdant lands into shopping plazas, parking lots, and subdivisions.

He was determined to prevent his family's land from suffering the same fate, vowing to protect their beautiful family farm from development.

Through our Land Protection program, we helped Larry make good on his promise.

Potomac Conservancy worked with Larry and government agencies over the course of several years to place a conservation easement on Island Ford Farm. Now, the farm's riverside forests and working lands are protected forever. That means no developer will ever be allowed to pave it over.

As an accredited land trust, Potomac Conservancy works one-on-one with Larry and other private landowners to protect streamside forests. We visit each of our 76 properties annually to ensure water quality protections remain in place and provide assistance to ensure working lands are productive and river friendly.

Thanks to member support, we have permanently protected over 14,000 acres of river friendly land in the Potomac region! 


Saving healthy lands, like Larry's family farm, is critical in the fight for a clean Potomac.

The waters of the Shenandoah River that flow through Island Ford Farm make their way into the Potomac and eventually flow out of your faucet.

Taking action to save forested lands is the most affordable and effective way to fight sprawl and prevent future pollution from reaching our waters. 

Help Larry and other family farms protect healthy forests, wildlife habitat, and clean water! Donate today!


Learn More About Our Land Protection Program

Potomac Conservancy helps protect water quality from future threats by permanently protecting land in the headwaters regions. Easements protect conservation values including water resources, forestland, wildlife habitat, and prime farm soils by limiting development and similarly destructive land uses.

We work with landowners within the South Branch watershed in West Virginia and the upper Shenandoah River watershed in Virginia to place conservation easements on farm and forest land. To date, we have protected more than 14,000 acres of streamside lands and placed easements on 76 properties.

Saving Healthy Lands >

Conservation Easement Program > 

South Branch Initiative >