The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on Tuesday completed the purchase of JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary from JK Moving Services.
Over the past 20 months, the organization has leased the property and completed its first habitat restoration project in November. Last year, JK Moving placed the property under a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Virginia to permanently protect the land from future development. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program determined that the property contains a globally rare wetland attributable to its geological setting and zoological resources.
The conservancy’s vision for sanctuary is to preserve and enhance the globally rare wetlands by protecting the sensitive vernal pools, unique geological setting, and the rich amphibian and wildlife populations. The organization also is working to promote the conservation of adjacent lands to create an ecologically significant sanctuary for the conservation and study of native wildlife.
Nature Conservancy, Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, and individual donors made it possible for Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to purchase the property.
“In our 25th year, we are excited to be purchasing land for the first time in our history,” Executive Director Michael Myers said. “We are extremely thankful for Chuck and Stacy Kuhn’s support to purchase the property and resell it to us at a conserved value, and we are grateful for funding from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund to be able to complete the purchase. We’re looking forward to working with The Nature Conservancy to further enhance the wildlife habitat at the site.”
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy will work together to ensure the long-term protection of the property and the tremendous conservation values it holds. The wetlands restoration project will further enhance the habitat for wildlife and overall ecological diversity. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy also plans to work with local students and adults to conduct citizen science projects studying amphibians, birds, butterflies, and other species on the property as it does elsewhere throughout the county.
Donations may be made to assist with future stewardship costs at loudounwildlife.org/black-oak/.