Clarke County Land Conservation Fund

On April 21, 2006, the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) established a new revolving fund to protect and preserve the rural lands of Clarke County. This fund was dubbed the Clarke County Land Conservation Fund (the “Clarke Fund”) and was set up to protect at-risk natural, agricultural, historical and scenic resources. Today, the Clarke Fund works in partnership with numerous organizations and employs a variety of strategies to ensure conservation resources are protected for future generations. 

The Shenandoah River winds through Clarke County. Credit: Hugh Kenny/PEC

The Clarke County Land Conservation Fund is managed by the Piedmont Foundation – a 509(a)(3) supporting organization established to hold and manage specifically dedicated funds of The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC). 

How the Fund Helps

There are a variety of projects that can qualify for support. Funds may be used to:  

  • Help landowners with the up-front costs of donating an easement, such as legal costs, survey costs, appraisal costs, and stewardship costs
  • Purchase fee or partial interest in conservation property
  • Support environmental stewardship practices on either public or private lands through revolving loans and/or financial reimbursements that are reasonably assured for repayment by working with the local Soil and Water Conservation District and/or Natural Resources Conservation Service 
  • Support research and pilot projects that promote improved environmental management of land and water
  • Provide continuing education resources for agricultural and forestry managers, operators, and owners
  • Fund environmental education for youth or adults
  • Provide funding for government- or non-profit- sponsored environmental initiatives
  • Support outdoor recreation initiatives that promote an appreciation for conservation

PEC staff are also available to advise on conservation easement transactions and will walk a landowner through the entire process from start to finish.

Clarke Fund Advisory Committee

An advisory committee, composed of local residents and PEC staff, helps to identify potential projects and provides information to landowners about protecting their land. Advisory committees meet periodically throughout the year to recommend projects to the PEC Board of Directors. The Clarke Fund Advisory Committee is composed of seven Clarke residents and conservation partners. Many of the committee members have preserved their property with a conservation easement and are happy to discuss their tried and true experience.

  • Randy Buckley
  • Susan Gallagher
  • Cleo Gewirz
  • Turner Kobayashi 
  • George L. Ohrstrom
  • Alison Teetor
  • Laurie Volk

Hallie Harriman, PEC’s Potomac Watershed Field Representative, serves as the staff liaison between the advisory committee and PEC. All projects require approval by the PEC Board of Directors and the Piedmont Foundation.

PEC volunteers planting trees along Dog Run at Clermont Farm in Berryville, VA. Credit: Nick Ferris

Contact Us

For more information on the Clarke Fund and on land protection/stewardship, be sure to contact Hallie at or by phone at (540) 347-2334 ext. 7066.

Make a Donation

Contributions to the Clarke Fund are tax-deductible and will be used for land conservation in Clarke County. If you are interested in making a donation please contact Nora Seilheimer at or (434) 977-2033 ext. 7008.