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5.5 Acres Preserved at Popes Head Creek

The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust will sign a conservation easement with the Clifton Betterment Association on 5.5 acres buffering Popes Head Creek in Clifton on Monday, May 12, 2003 at 10 a.m.

This signing will mark the first preserved property under the Trust's new Popes Head Creek Initiative, an effort to protect a green corridor from the Occoquan River, where the Popes Head Creek lets out, to where it begins in the City of Fairfax.

NVCT currently has several conservation projects underway in the Clifton area, involving the protection of more than 30 acres along Popes Head Creek.

The Town of Clifton is located in the southern portion of the Popes Head Creek Watershed. More than 350 Clifton residents belong to the Clifton Betterment Association, an organization dedicated to protecting the historical character of the Town of Clifton.

"Working with NVCT has been a great experience for the CBA," said CBA President Michelle Stein. "Not only have they helped us create a plan to preserve our property, they also have worked to educate the CBA members about land conservation and have conducted several outreach projects to our community."

Clifton is the last area that Popes Head Creek flows through before dispensing into the Occoquan River, the source for drinking water for 750,000 residents of Northern Virginia, and a major subwatershed of the Chesapeake Bay.

In order to help maintain the water quality of Popes Head Creek, it is imperative to target this area for land conservation through riparian buffer zone enhancement projects and conservation easements.

NVCT's Popes Head Creek Initiative is designed to conserve a natural buffer to protect and enhance the creek's water quality. This acquisition also marks NVCT's 1,000th acre of ecologically sensitive land protected in Northern Virginia. The easement signing will be in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Week. The public is invited to attend the easement signing event on Monday, May 12 to learn more about conservation and historic preservation efforts underway in Fairfax County.

Cliff Fairweather, a naturalist for the Audubon Nature Society's Webb Sanctuary in Clifton, will be on hand to discuss the ecology of the Popes Head Creek Watershed, and lead a brief watershed walk. CBA President Michelle Stein and other CBA members will be in attendance to discuss the preservation goals for their property.