Share Your Ideas

What heritage and cultural features do you love in James City County? Read the important information below and take the survey to let us know!

Background Information

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:

How will this information be used?

Results from the survey will be used to refine the draft maps and to help rank habitat cores. Mapping these areas will help us at a later stage of the process to think about specific strategies to plan for these areas. Examples from other communities have included the following:

  • New roads - the route could be altered to minimize impacts. 
  • New developments - the best quality open space might be set aside for recreation uses. 
  • New Agricultural and Forestal Districts - additional areas could be identified for voluntary zones to safeguard rural land uses for farming and forestry. 

What work has been completed so far?

The Board of Supervisors selected a representative group of citizens to help the County evaluate maps and models of the best natural resources and culturally important landscapes in the County as well as opportunities to improve these areas. For more information on this committee click here

The project team has mapped the largest, most intact landscapes in James City County as well as several specific resources.

There are six draft maps for review:

  1. Habitat Cores (PDF) 
  2. Agriculture (PDF)
  3. Forestry (PDF)
  4. Water (PDF)
  5. Heritage and Culture (PDF)
  6. Recreation (PDF)

Complete the Survey

The Natural and Cultural Assets Map Survey focuses two of the draft maps above: Heritage and Culture and Recreation (#5 and #6). These two draft maps have a range of information on them currently, such as the County’s Community Character Areas as shown on the 2045 Comprehensive Plan and recreational facilities such as County parks. By completing the survey, you can let us know about cultural resources and heritage areas that are important to you that are not already shown. 

Consider submitting places that are important to you which are tied to the natural landscape. For example, is there a historic site that benefits from the beauty of the views, or the adjacent or nearby forest or marsh? Is there a great spot for birdwatching? Other places could include scenic views, walking or biking areas, parks or places that support agriculture. Please note that any recreation points added should be places that are open to the public so as not to suggest access to private properties.

If you have a comment on one of the other four draft maps (Natural Habitats, Agriculture, Forestry or Water Resources, listed as #1-4 above), you can use the survey form to tell us. Simply skip to the bottom of the form and fill in the “General Comments” box.

There are two easy ways to take the survey!

The survey will close March 7.

For assistance, please contact the James City County Community Development Department at 757-253-6671 or