In recognition of the size, adjacencies, and existing assets of the project site, and in addition to the expressed desires of the property owners, this study focused on two primary research categories:  conservation easements and  rural economic development via creation of an inland port and eco-industrial park.
The first area of interest, conservation easements, included the review of current legal frameworks regulating conservation easements in Virginia and at the federal level of jurisdiction. This was followed by multiple rounds of site inventory and analysis that recorded characteristics of land and water that qualify areas of the property for placement into conservation easements.
Conservation recommendations were crafted to work in concert with a blend of eco-industrial uses that are anticipated to be developed in existing greyfield areas found on the property. This scenario was developed and modeled in collaboration with research partners in the NC State Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering.
The major objectives of this study were to:
+ Supply the necessary documentation needed to best situate the property for a qualified conservation easement
+ Explore innovative development options that work symbiotically with lands to be conserved
+ Create innovative redevelopment options that support rural economic development opportunities