On February 6, 2014, a transaction was recorded in Rockbridge County, Va., that transfers Virginia’s landmark Natural Bridge and some 1500 acres around it to the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF), with the intention that the area will eventually become a Virginia state park. Property-owner Angelo Puglisi donated the bridge itself—a naturally formed arch of limestone, created by ages of water erosion, with an estimated value of $21 million—to the VCLF, a non-profit organization set up by Tom Clarke, owner of Kissito, a health-care organization in Roanoke (for more information on Kissito, please see http://www.kissito.org/). Mr. Puglisi sold the rest of the property for $7 million in state tax credits (for a conservation easement to be placed on the property) and $8.6 million in cash from VCLF. The property is to be transferred to the Commonwealth when the VCLF pays off a $9.1 million loan used for the transaction. Mr. Clarke has stated that he intends to pay off that loan by December 2015.
Sources: Natural Bridge sold, on path to become state park, Roanoke Times, 2/6/14; Natural Bridge sold, destined to be a park, Associated Press, as published in Charlottesville Daily Progress, 2/6/14; and Kissito’s Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund Purchases Virginia’s Natural Bridge, Kissito blog post, 2/6/14.