The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) recently acquired the Campbell’s Bridge Mills site and additional acres on the Appomattox River in the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The main acquisition was completed in 2022, and efforts are ongoing to protect and steward the land.

Multiple organizations collaborated on the acquisition, including three partners of the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership (CCP).

  • Capital Region Land Conservancy (CCP)
  • Virginia Department of Historic Resources (CCP)
  • Virginia Outdoors Foundation (CCP)
  • Chesterfield County, VA
  • Friends of the Lower Appomattox River

While the parcel totals to about 42 acres, the acquisition exemplifies the way that future large landscape conservation should be done for multiple reasons. The long-desired acquisition was made possible with collaboration from multiple local, regional and state organizations, ranging from the Friends of the Lower Appomattox, to CRLC, to Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The acquisition is also aligned with multiple local, regional and state action plans:

  • Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation Plan (Local)
  • Appomattox River Trail Plan (Regional)
  • Virginia Outdoors Plan (State)

The acquisition fills in important physical gaps for both the public and wildlife. The property improves connectivity in a wildlife corridor for both fish like the Atlantic Sturgeon and migratory bird species like the Prothonotary Warbler. It will also act as a missing link along the 25-mile Appomattox River Trail, and an important connector along the planned 43-mile Fall Line Trail. The campus of historically black college Virginia State University lies to the east of the property, which will provide river access and opportunities for outdoor education, scientific investigation and artistic exploration to students.

The site has a deep history, beginning with the Appamatuck tribe of Virginia who historically resided in what is now Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Chesterfield County, and Dinwiddie County. CRLC’s acquisition encompasses a historic network of dams and canals along the Appomattox, dating back to as early as 1730, and continuing with the industrialization of the 18th century. Visit CRLC’s website to learn more about the site and how it can be supported.

Image Credit: Capital Region Land Conservancy
Image Credit: Capital Region Land Conservancy