Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035

Laura Grape,
Executive Director

CAP/VCAP Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Conservation Assistance Program and the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program. If this FAQ does not answer your question, please contact or call 703-324-1460 TTY 711.


I missed the NVSWCD open enrollment period for site visit requests. Can I send in my request anyway?

Unfortunately, we will not accept any site visit requests from individuals after the NVSWCD open enrollment period ends. If you miss the enrollment period, we can add your name to a list to be notified when the new enrollment period opens in the following July.

Can I apply for both CAP and VCAP?

No. CAP and VCAP are the same program, however, the guidelines differ slightly when dealing with Civic/Homeowner’s Associations and places of worship. We have separated the two groups to ensure that each one is receiving applicable information to their property type.

Is there a limit to how many times I can apply for VCAP funds?

Yes! Each parcel is limited to a lifetime approved application maximum of 2 projects. Please reach out to District staff if you have any questions on eligibility of reapplication.

I would like to receive the 75% of cost-share for permeable pavers that is listed on the state website. Can I apply directly to the state and bypass NVSWCD to receive the higher reimbursement amount?

No. VCAP is a program that is governed by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and implemented by each individual district in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Each district is allowed to place secondary considerations in addition to the general program guidelines for all of their projects. In short – there is no way to bypass a district that has a secondary consideration on any given practice.

I received a site visit, and submitted my application, but have not heard back for a couple of months. Why is that?

The applications submitted to our district are not the only ones submitting for funding – there are 30 other districts competing for the same state-wide funds. The projects are ranked and then reviewed/approved based on their ranking. It is possible that your project may rank lower or higher than another project submitted. You will receive approval once we know of the status from the state steering committee and it is possible that you may not ever be approved for the project if higher ranking projects are submitted.

I plan on doing my project regardless of VCAP funding. If I start my project before receiving approval, will that prevent me from receiving funding after I submit my application?

We do NOT allow projects to be started prior to approval from the state steering committee. If you start your project after submitting an application but before receiving approval, you will be removed from the list and your application will become void. NVSWCD reserves the right to inspect properties to ensure that no work has been started in accordance with guidelines put forth by the state steering committee.

What happens if I have to move in 7 years and cannot fulfill the entirety of the 10 year maintenance agreement?

Form 4 gives you the option to either transfer the remainder of the maintenance agreement to the new homeowner or to pay back a prorated amount of the cost-share received. Please contact the SWCD if there are any issues.

I am representing a Civic Association/Homeowner’s Association, or Place of Worship located in Fairfax County. Is the timeline for site visit requests, application, and approval different for these groups wanting to pursue projects on common land?

Yes it is. If you are a Civic Association/Homeowner’s Association or Place of Worship in FAIRFAX COUNTY, the timeline is different. Please contact the SWCD for more information. All other Civic Associations/HOA’s and places of worship in City of Fairfax/Alexandria will follow the annual timeline for individual property owners.

Once I receive application funding, is there a deadline for me to begin work and finish the project?

All projects need to have broken ground 90 days from approval. Breaking ground includes doing area prep, marking off project areas, and preparing mulched beds for plantings. Projects must be finished before June 1st of the following calendar year.

I am required by the county ordinance to install a stormwater BMP (Best Management Practice) as a result of construction. Will VCAP help fund projects that need to be installed as part of county/municipal requirements?

No. VCAP only offers cost-share to individuals who are voluntarily installing practices on their properties. We also do not help cost-share facilities if they are in response to the violation of county easements. New homes are not eligible for VCAP cost-share until 3 years after the residential occupancy permit has been issued.

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