SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam dedicated Piney Grove Flatwoods in Sussex County as the state’s 66th natural area preserve.
The area which contains 446 acres of woodlands are home to numerous rare species, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
Piney Grove Flatwoods is part of the 10,000-acre conservation area that includes Big Woods State Forest, Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, and The Nature Conservancy’s Big Woods.
“Conservation efforts like this allow species to adapt to changing climates and are key to protecting Virginia’s environment,” said Northam during the dedication ceremony.
The Nature Conservancy was able to purchase Piney Grove Flatwoods Natural Area Preserve last year following a grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.
They are working with the Department of Recreation and Conservation to acquire and protect the land.