:: GIC Projects :: Virginia :: Nelson County Green Instrastructure Assessment

Green infrastructure is the interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas that support native species, clean water and contribute to community health and quality of life. The Nelson County Green Infrastructure Assessment was a collaborative partnership between Nelson County, the Green Infrastructure Center, the University of Virginia (UVa) and Skeo Solutions. All labor and printing costs were donated to the county. The project was funded by the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Chesapeake Bay Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Healthy Watershed's Initiative and volunteer work by graduate students from UVa.

During fall 2010, graduate students completed a green infrastructure assessment of the county's forests and wildlife habitats, agricultural soils, tourism, nature based recreation and water resources. The class obtained related Geographic Information System data, including county-specific data and statewide models, including Virginia’s Natural Landscape Assessment, Watershed Integrity, Forest Economics and Agricultural Resources models. Available data from other agencies, including US Department of Agriculture, were also included. The students developed maps and policy ideas for the county’s consideration. Community input was solicited through interviews and a public meeting on November 17, 2010 at the Nelson Center. Students also held meetings with county staff to solicit their input and review. The UVa. Nelson County Green Infrastructure Assessment conducted by the students can be downloaded here.

In 2011, a community stewardship guide was created based on input from a county focus group and additional research by GIC and Skeo. The final report and press release are available below. These maps should be used to inform county planning and updates to the comprehensive plan. All data are provided to the county probono for their use in daily planning applications.

Download the Sept 2, 2011 Press Release
Download the Community Stewardship Guide
Download the September 17, 2011 presentation, Making the Case for Incorporating Natural Assets into Conservation Planning

Anyone who wishes to comment on the work or ask questions can contact the project here.

Thanks to our funders and partners:

CBP logo  DOF logo  Nelson County logo  USFS logo EPA logo

Martha WarringOverlookKayak on Tye RiverRural Character of Nelson CountySeptember Harvest in Nelson County

Photos, from left to right: DOF Forester Martha Warring teaches students about forest management; overlooking Nelson County; Kayaking on the Tye River, photo courtesy of Peter Stutts; rural character of Nelson County; September harvest in Nelson County.

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Stream in Nelson County
Nelson County stream
Photo courtesy of Peter Stutts

Trail on farm
Trail on farm - example of agritourism