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Research center will add land

A nonprofit biological research center in Caroline County has won a grant to purchase 17 acres that will forever preserve the rare plants that grow there.

The land will be part of a conservation easement that will restrict future development. Last week, the county’s Board of Supervisors agreed to hold the easement.

Meadowview Biological Research Station will purchase two parcels of land adjacent to its headquarters along State Route 2.

After receiving a matching grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, the center raised more than $20,000 to purchase the land. One of the tracts includes 14 flowers produced by native pitcher plants.

The center is dedicated to preserving and restoring rare wetland plants, habitats and associated ecosystems on the coastal plain of Maryland and Virginia.

Meadowview applied for the conservation easement through the county because 17 acres is too small to qualify for an easement through the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Department of Forestry and similar agencies, said Phil Sheridan, the center’s director.

The center is constantly working to increase the amount of land it works with.

Sheridan said Meadowview is raising funds to purchase the 51-acre Schwartz tract, which is adjacent to the 232-acre Joseph Pines Preserve.

The tract will cost $449,000 and includes a 4,300-square-foot house that will be converted to a visitors and education center.

Meadowview plans to build an onsite nursery producing a minimum of 18 indigenous rare plants for reintroduction to the preserve.

Sheridan said they’ve received $50,000 from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation toward the purchase.

Other grants have funded projects including building trails and benches, signs and restoration work.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413


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