Respecting the lives lost here – 32 Acres of Unison Battlefield Permanently Preserved
Loudoun County, VA (August 4, 2020) – A local family has successfully worked with the Land Trust of Virginia (LTV) in conjunction with The Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association (VPHAA) to permanently protect their historic Unison property. It will be preserved as open space in perpetuity, forever honoring those who fought and died here.
Preserving the land
The 32 acre property is located entirely within the 8000 acre Unison Battlefield Historic District and the battle that took place here, in 1862, is a very important part of our nation’s history.
According to the property owner, “Just thinking about the Battle of Unison, we can visualize the artillery bombardment that went directly over our property”. As it turns out, the interest of VPHAA in protecting our historic landscape was what prompted the current owners to contact LTV. “We have always intended to protect the integrity of the property in our lifetime, purchasing our contingent 11 acres from the original landowner who owned much of the Unison area, to prevent any more houses fronting the road and, of course, protecting the open space views,” the property owner said.
They had investigated placing the property into easement well over 10 years ago with LTV but had been waiting for the right time. This past fall, the owners learned about VHPAA and their Bondi Family Land Conservation and Battlefield Preservation Fund, with its focus on preserving properties within the Unison Battlefield Study Area. So, with the generous assistance of the Bondi Fund, and additional funding from LTV’s Deborah Whittier Fitts Battlefield Stewardship Fund, the landowners were finally ready to move forward with the easement.
The natural resources of the property are also of value and include state-recognized “Prime Farmland” soils, a pond and a perennial stream with protected forested buffers. The easement also prevents any future division of the property, forever. “This is a wonderful accomplishment for conservation and historic preservation, and part of a larger and very successful effort by various members of the Unison community to protect the village and its surrounding farms,” commented Ashton Cole, LTV’s Director of Conservation and Stewardship.
The Right Thing to Do
Since the owners knew that they would never develop the property, it was not a big leap for them to confirm that sentiment. “We moved here when you could gas up at the Phillips 66 tank at the Unison Store, buy a sandwich, milk, eggs and other staples, and fortunately, the rural nature of the village remains to this day. Putting the property into conservation easement was just the right thing to do for the property and the area. When you look at the map of conservation easements in Loudoun County, you find that there is a strong trend towards preservation. We are proud to now be a part of that trend.”
The Land Trust of Virginia is a nonprofit organization that partners with private landowners who voluntarily protect and preserve properties with significant historic, scenic, or ecological value. With the addition of this easement, LTV now holds 200 easements protecting a total of 22,878 acres in 18 counties in Virginia.
The mission of The Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association is to educate and advocate for the preservation of the extraordinary historic landscape and culture of the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area for future generations.
Photo by LTV staff