Share Your Ideas
Natural and Cultural Assets Open House
Community members were invited to attend an open house event on Wednesday, June 29 to view natural and cultural assets and comment on strategies to restore or protect them. Thank you to everyone who attended for the great discussion! Those who were unable to attend the open house were asked to complete our online survey by July 10. Thank you to everyone who participated!
View the open house slide presentation and maps below.
What is the Natural and Cultural Assets Planning Effort?
The Natural and Cultural Assets planning effort began in late 2021 as an outgrowth of the 2035 Strategic Plan and the 2045 Comprehensive Plan. It is important to inventory our assets to know their worth and then decide how to plan for them.
- Natural assets include large intact and high-quality landscapes such as forests, marshes and bays or good agricultural soils.
- Cultural assets include landscape features that depend on or are supported by their surroundings such as the views from Historic Jamestown and the lands that surround the site. Cultural assets could also include scenic views, favorite birding spots, walking or biking trails, historic sites, parks or areas that support agriculture.
Many areas of the County have both environmental and cultural importance. Learn more about the planning effort:
- Explore the Natural and Cultural Assets Plan page.
- Watch the Jan. 25, 2022 presentation to the Board of Supervisors.
Results of the Natural and Cultural Assets Map Survey
What heritage and cultural features do you love in James City County? In February, we asked citizens to take a survey to let us know.
- James City County received 149 survey responses from the community about its natural and cultural assets.
- Many comments pointed out places that are scenic, have trails, represent an iconic or historic place in the County or where there are known archaeological resources or agricultural assets such as a pick your own farms or historic farms. Those places have been added to the maps of the county's recreation, heritage and agriculture assets.
- Some respondents also made policy suggestions for which places are particularly important to conserve or to provide restoration or conservation activities. This input was used to update the maps.
How is this information being used?
- The updated asset maps are being used to inform which landscapes play a key role in heritage -- living history on the landscape, recreational uses or which add to the character of the County. Areas that are particularly important because they support high quality habitat, clean water and other ecosystem values and also support our heritage through views, active outdoor recreation or healthy lifestyles will be ranked as the most important to conserve. For those areas that are at greater risk because they are within the growth area, special care may be needed to design developments that protect corridors for wildlife or future trails or greenways. Other landscapes may benefit from improved management practices such as planting thicker forest buffers to protect against coastal wind and erosion.
- A natural and cultural asset network map is being developed to show how these landscapes connect along with recommended policies or actions that will help protect them. Since most of the land in the County is under private ownership, there will also be voluntary strategies that will be up to individual landowners to consider.
For more information, please contact the James City County Community Development Department at 757-253-6671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.