Natural Bridge, VA- A newly formed conservation nonprofit called the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. has purchased the Natural Bridge of Virginia with the intent of improving the property and establishing it as a Virginia State Park.
Thanks to a major donation by the owner, Mr. Angelo Puglisi, and a significant loan from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Land Conservation Loan Program, the Natural Bridge will for the first time in its history be transferred into public ownership. The transaction could not have taken place without the hard work, cooperation, and commitment of the state and county government, local nonprofits, and individuals who all played a role in pulling together this unusually complex and important project to benefit the citizens of Virginia now and in the future.
“This is truly an historic day for an extraordinarily special place. Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and organizations, this priceless natural and historic wonder will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come,” stated Faye Cooper, Executive Director of the Valley Conservation Council, a regional private land trust that has provided technical support for the project since its inception.
“Our vision for Natural Bridge is to be the center piece of the state park system. We want Natural Bridge to become a family destination resort that represents the essence of outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and environmental conservation in Virginia.”, Tom Clarke CEO, VCLF.
Natural Bridge will undergo a transformation of the buildings, grounds, and land to emphasize the history and ecology of the site plus develop the outdoor recreation potential of the property. The mission of Natural Bridge is the conservation of geological and biological attributes of the property; education of the public regarding history, geology, ecology, and biodiversity; and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for the public to become more active and engaged with the outdoors to improve health and connect with the outstanding natural beauty of western Virginia.
The Natural Bridge, Hotel, Caverns, and Gift Shop will reopen in mid to late March 2014. Reservations can be placed by calling the hotel at 1(800) 533-1410
About the owner:
Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. (“VCLF”) is a nonprofit organization which seeks to conserve Virginia’s natural resources for public access and enjoyment. Our work in preserving and restoring wildlife habitat is also designed to create economic activity through the recreational and mixed use of Virginia’s forests and open spaces. VCLF is a member of the Kissito, Inc. portfolio of companies. Kissito is a 25-year old Roanoke, Virginia-based, nonprofit charity working both domestically and internationally in Health, Aging, Nutrition, Natural Resources, and Human Development. The relationship between health, nutrition, and our natural environment is well documented. VCLF and Kissito seek to blend these three disciplines to improve the quality of life for the people of Virginia while sustaining our natural resources.