Community, Art, and Conservation

How we are inspired by the land

September 19, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Lemon Tree Gallery, Cape Charles


An interactive discussion about what land means to us as individuals and community members, how we define community, and how we are inspired by the land. The presentation will draw on examples from painters, photographers, poets, and conservationists.

Paint the Shore

October 11-14, 2017
Exhibit and reception, October 13th at 6 p.m., Barrier Islands Center

Paint the Shore is a four day plein air event and art exhibit designed to bring conservation to the public through visual art. For more information click here.

Mushrooms of the Shore

October 19, 2017, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Discover life underground! Enjoy a walk in the woods, identify and observe mushrooms along the way, and discuss their benefits and perils. Mushrooms are food for local animals and even provide nutrients to plants. They are an important part of the forest, living in partnership with the trees. We even eat them! But there are also many poisonous varieties and we will only be looking, noting, and photographing what we find! Please RSVP to director@veslt.org or (757) 442-5885.

Join the Conversation: Land, People, and Community

Screening of Green Fire followed by panel discussion
November 8, 2017, 6-8 p.m., doors at 5:30 p.m.

Onley Town Center

25020 Shore Pkwy, Onley, VA 23418


'When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac


The evening will include a screening of the movie, Green Fire, a documentary about the life of Aldo Leopold. Leopold was a pioneer in wildlife management, land and natural resource management, and national wilderness areas. Today, he is considered the most influential conservationist of the 20th century. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion as we consider what the land and the waters mean to us as individuals, families, neighborhoods, and a community. We will discuss what our responsibility is to the land and waters we call home and how we can care for them as a community. Refreshments will be provided.

Thank You!

The Tenth Annual Oyster Roast and Supper was a huge success!
Thank you to our sponsors, donors, and volunteers for making the 10th Annual Oyster Roast a roaring success. We couldn't pull it off without your support. See you next year!

VES Land Trust preserves 73 acres in Accomack

Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust (VES Land Trust) helped permanently preserve 73 acres on Guilford Mill Branch, which drains to Guilford Creek and the Chesapeake Bay. This newest conservation easement is the second farmer owned and operated conservation easement held by the VES Land Trust.


Land conservation is an integral part of a balanced community and future land use strategy. Conservation easements support traditional land uses and important economic drivers on the Eastern Shore, such as farming and aquaculture. Conservation easements leave land open for agriculture. They promote clean water, which aquaculture depends on, through vegetated buffers that filter water entering the creeks and the Bay. Milburn Farm includes 4.5 acres of mature hardwood vegetated buffer along the branch, 24 acres of pine forest, and 40 acres of pasture.


Traditional land uses are not only important to the economics of the Eastern Shore but the culture as well. Farmer and landowner Dan Milburn explained, “I wanted to preserve the farm for future generations not just the next generation. I want my grandsons and my great grandsons to say, ‘that was my pop pop’s.’”

VES Land Trust Earns National Recognition

Accreditation Promotes Public Trust, Ensures Permanence


Virginia Eastern Shore (VES) Land Trust, a local non-profit that assists landowners with voluntary permanent land preservation, announced today it has achieved renewed accreditation – a mark of distinction in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that VES Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever.


“Being accredited illustrates to our community that we are working at the highest level of competency in our field. It is a promise that VES Land Trust strictly adheres to the industry’s best practices when working on new conservation easements and stewarding those already in place,” commented John Edmund Tankard III, VES Land Trust President.


Almost 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities – an area about the size of the state of West Virginia – are permanently conserved by an accredited land trust. VES Land Trust protects 13,786 acres in Northampton and Accomack counties.


VES Land Trust was formed in 2003 by a group of citizens who envisioned a mechanism for local land protection. VES Land Trust works closely with landowners to protect the Eastern Shore way of life, keeping land available for farming, buffering creeks and waterways to protect water quality for recreation and aquaculture, and maintaining natural spaces for wildlife and hunting.


VES Land Trust was among 38 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in August. VES Land Trust is one of the more than 350 accredited land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.


“It is exciting to recognize VES Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts stand together, united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. This network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership and lasting stewardship of conservation land.”


Each accredited land trusts must apply for renewal every five years and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its renewal application. VES Land Trust first became accredited in 2011. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts so they can help landowners and communities achieve their goals.