Montgomery County looking to create nature park with Mountain Valley Pipeline funds

Preservation group requesting grant from MVP forest mitigation fund

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – A local preservation group is working to protect land on Brush Mountain using money from the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

"The pipeline has really had a terrible impact on the region," New River Land Trust Executive Director John Eustis said.

In an effort to make up for the pipeline’s impact, the state has required MVP to invest $15 million into forest mitigation. The New River Land Trust is hoping to tap into that.

"Funding for conservation, those opportunities are few and far between, so we're going to try and get some of this money and bring it to this community to do something positive," Eustis said.

The funding would allow the organization to purchase nearly 330 acres of land for a nature park. That would mean possibly adding picnic shelters, information centers and more trails.

"One of the important things is it's not going to change very much,” Eustis said.

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors wants to make sure of that, too.

"We can preserve that for generations so everybody's going to be able to enjoy that view. And so when fans are sitting in Lane Stadium and they look out and see the beautiful autumn colors, they're going to see those instead of houses," board chairman Chris Tuck said.

The board is now backing the proposal. If it goes through, the county could ultimately take ownership of the park.

"Is this tract of land going to make things better? No. There's serious impacts that the mountain valley pipeline is going to have but maybe this can help mitigate some of those,” Tuck said.

The paperwork to apply for a grant will be available starting Wednesday. The local group expect to find out whether they'll get the money in a couple months.

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