WELCOME TO FRIENDS OF DRAGON RUN
The Dragon wilderness is a unique ecosystem which has been ranked second in ecological significance among 232 areas investigated in a Smithsonian Institution study which covered 12,600 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay region.
The unique character of the Dragon wilderness and its awesome natural beauty exist primarily because it is remote. Several highway bridges cross its 40 mile run to the Piankatank River. Most access points are, however, only reached by way of nearly a mile trek over rugged back country. This natural protection of the million year old swamp has contributed to its abundance of wild life. Concerned land owners, who over the years have exercised good land use judgment, can be credited with the conservation of this threatened gem.
Friends of Dragon Run is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized in 1985 by a group of Virginia's Middle Peninsula citizens who generously donated funds to purchase and preserve a 203 acre tract of Dragon swampland, near Churchview in Middlesex County. With assistance from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff and an affiliation with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the purchase was made possible with tax deductible contributions.
Friends of Dragon Run now independently owns and manages this and additional wild areas for a total of 600 acres along the shoreline of the Dragon Run. Its members and the public enjoy the use of the property for purposes consistent with conservation and education.
Concerned with the future of the entire Dragon wilderness area, Friends of Dragon Run’s mission is to preserve, protect and encourage the wise use of the Dragon Run and its watershed. We are a vigilant steward of the land we own and promote the preservation and protection of the watershed through granting conservation easements and applying forestry and agricultural best management practices. These practices include: use of no-till planting, filter strips, reforestation, sod waterways, contour farming, and sensitive timbering techniques in the Dragon wetlands and along its streams. All aim to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment that would otherwise enter the Dragon as a result of farming and forestry.
These efforts are essential in assuring that development adjacent to the Dragon Run swamp and its corridor is compatible with maintaining the swamp's ecological integrity.
Friends of Dragon Run pursues these objectives through continued cooperation with other appropriate conservation organizations, local governments and landowners. We have partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation in various land acquisitions. As a result, 23% of the Dragon Run watershed is protected from future development. We have been a member of the Land Trust Alliance for more than a decade and have adopted its Standards and Practices.
We are a member of Give Richmond, a part of The Community Foundation of Richmond. You may find our organizational documents and most recent financial statements and IRS Form 990 on Guidestar https://www.guidestar.org/profile/54-1565794.
- Nature Conservancy Records 13,350-acre Easement in Dragon Run and Mattaponi Drainages: 20,645 acres, 23% of Watershed Protected.
- Acquisition of 12 Acre "Milby Tract" in Middlesex County
- Dragon Run Protected Lands