In August, the Land Trust of Virginia recorded conservation easements that protect Meredyth Farm in The Plains, Va. Mrs. Jacqueline Mars, the property’s owner, is well known for her generous support of many local non-profit organizations that extends beyond financial contributions. She cares deeply about Virginia’s open spaces, natural resources, working farms, and beautiful landscapes. Her passion for the preservation of the Virginia countryside is evidenced by the over 400 acres of land that Mars has protected through donations of conservation easements in Fauquier County.
Meredyth Farm is a beautiful piece of property that contains 1,620 feet of frontage along Little River (which is part of the Goose Creek, Potomac River, and Chesapeake Bay watersheds). The rolling landscape includes 55 acres of forest and about 155 acres of open fields. The property has been identified as having 86 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” and 72 acres of “Soils of Statewide Importance,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There are four historic features on Meredyth Farm that are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. These include the remnants of the Kenton House (circa 1775) with a domestic outbuilding, dry stack stone walls and two small grave sites.
Mars’ love of Meredyth Farm is apparent in the way the property is beautifully maintained. When asked why she loves it and why she selected LTV as the organization to hold her easement, she said, “It was very comforting to work with dedicated environmental professionals who have, through their good deeds, accumulated the resources to uphold and enforce the easements granted by property owners. Too often easements are granted with good intentions and are not enforced.”
“Mrs. Mars has been a long time supporter of land conservation in Virginia, and her donation of a conservation easement on this property is an example of her conservation leadership,” remarked LTV’s Chairman, Chris Dematatis. “We are proud that she chose the Land Trust of Virginia to hold her conservation easement and to accept the long-term stewardship responsibility for her property. It speaks to the trust that she has in us, and we appreciate her faith in our organization.”