Friends of Dragon Run
Promoting preservation and protection of the watershed.
April 2022 Newsletter is online now!
The Dragon Run wilderness is a unique ecosystem located on Virginia’s middle peninsula. In a study conducted by the Smithsonian Institution, Dragon Run was ranked second (first in Virginia) in ecological significance among 232 areas investigated in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The unique character of Dragon Run and its 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, reached only by a one mile or more trek through forests and swamplands and across private property. This natural protection has contributed to its abundant wildlife. Concerned landowners, who over the years have exercised good land use judgment, can be credited with the conservation of this threatened gem.
Friends of Dragon Run (FODR) 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 Run swampland 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.
FODR now independently owns and manages this tract and additional wilderness areas totaling more than 650 acres along the shoreline of Dragon Run. FODR members and the public enjoy the use of these properties for purposes consistent with conservation and education.
FODR’s mission is to preserve, protect, and encourage the wise use of Dragon Run and its watershed. We are a vigilant steward of the land we own. We promote the preservation and protection of the watershed encouraging agricultural and forestry best management practices in the Dragon Run wetlands and along its streams. These practices aim to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment that would otherwise enter the Dragon as a result of farming and forestry.
As a steward of Dragon Run, FODR supports these best management practices through continued cooperation with other 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 will find our organizational documents, most recent financial statements, and IRS FORM 990 on Guidestar, http://www.guidestar.org/ profile/54-1565794 .