To conserve and protect historical properties, structures, and viewsheds
To preserve and restore open land, water resources, and wildlife habitat
To enhance the rural and historical character of Great Falls and McLean
We focus our efforts on three key strategies to achieve our mission.
Property Acquisition & Conservation
The Trust partners with property owners, developers, and real estate agents to market and implement conservation easements on properties within McLean and Great Falls with significant historical, environmental, or scenic value.
A conservation easement is a customized deed restriction that permanently limits the development rights of a property. In exchange for this conservation activity, the Federal and Virginia State governments offer significant tax benefits.
In many instances, a property owner or developer can recoup more value from the tax benefits generated by an easement than by selling property on the open market. Where appropriate, the Trust purchases properties outright.
Developer Financing & Partnerships
With financial support from individual donors, foundations, and government agencies, the Trust offers attractive financing options for conservation-minded investors and developers to invest in, conserve, and resell properties in Great Falls and McLean.
The Trust also offers credit enhancement tools to incentivize low-density and context-appropriate development. These tools can include letters of credit, over-collateralization, insurance, reserve accounts, and below-market acquisition and construction loans.
Community Education & Engagement
The Trust is committed to engagement through activities that educate the community about the vast historical and natural resources within McLean and Great Falls, and that help build a community which values and supports the Trust’s mission of conserving our rural heritage.
Activities include: Programs on local history; Preservation advocacy to protect historical structures; Publication of historical essays; Collection and preservation of historical artifacts and photographs; Oral history interviews of current and earlier residents; Genealogical research; Tours of historical sites; Volunteer awards; Nature walks; Community-building events