Our History

American Climate Partners is an entrepreneurial organization working since 2006 to restore the health of people, communities, and ecosystems. We design, create, and manage projects, programs, and businesses which help rural America become more resilient in the face of climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and disease. American Climate Partners is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Rapidan, Virginia.

January 2006
Public Policy Virginia logo
Al Weed — a conservationist, entrepreneur, winemaker, community leader, and US Army Special Forces veteran — founds Public Policy Virginia (PPV) to use grassroots communication to promote public policy initiatives focused on health, energy, and climate change in rural areas of Virginia.
February 2006
Conserv logo

Michael Collins — a conservationist, entrepreneur, environmental and urban planner, and educator — founds the Association for Conservation Real Estate (Conserv), to recognize the value of ecological assets in real estate transactions.

January 2007

Public Policy Virginia promotes rural area economic development through the use of biomass for combined heat and power and creates the Virginia Biomass Energy Group.

February 2007

Conserv creates the American Conservation Broker real estate agent certification program, which certifies hundreds of brokers and agents in the US. After the real estate crash of 2008, Conserv creates the Forests 2 Faucets program in partnership with the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the Virginia Department of Forestry, to protect upstream forest lands to provide clean water downstream.


Al Weed and Michael Collins meet to examine synergies between Public Policy Virginia and Conserv.

Staff and Board Members of each organization meet to discuss a potential merger.

January 2012
January 2012

Public Policy Virginia merges with Conserv to form the Center for Natural Capital (the Center) with a mission to restore the health of people, communities, and ecosystems by designing, creating, and managing projects, programs, and business to help rural American become more resilient. Michael Collins is named Executive Director by the new Board of Directors.

February 2012

The Center embarks on a multi-year relationship with the Rappahannock River Basin Commission. The River Friendly Yards project is completed in partnership with George Washington University and the National Wildlife Federation.

January 2013
January 2013

StreamSweepers program launches as a river clean-up, training and work experience program for college-aged young adults and veterans. The Rappahannock River Basin Comprehensive Clean-Up launches with a 17-mile clean-up of the Rapidan River in Orange County, from the Greene County line to Madison Mills.

February 2013

The SoilKeepers program launches out of the River Friendly Yards project to provide regenerative landscape management services as an alternative to conventional techniques that kill the soil biome with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and weedkillers.

March 2013

The Community Wood Energy Project launches with a multi-year award from the US Forest Service to work with communities and industries to develop projects focused on providing local, sustainable wood fuels for heat and energy.

January 2014

The Center leases offices in Orange, Virginia.

February 2014

StreamSweepers cleans about 20 miles of the Rapidan River from Madison Mills to Raccoon Ford and about 20 miles of the Robinson River from Banco to the town of Rapidan.

March 2014
March 2014

SoilKeepers serves its first two paying clients in its first full year.

April 2014

The Virginia Wildlife Habitat Cooperative (VWHC) launches to aggregate grassland bird, pollinator, and wildlife habitat acreage across parcel boundaries in Virginia through education and outreach to landowners, and to provide habitat establishment.

January 2015

The Center launches the Rapidan Blueway project with a group of local river enthusiasts and landowners to explore the feasibility of creating a river trail to enhance river recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing with legal and safe access points.

February 2015
February 2015

StreamSweepers cleans the final 40 miles of the Rapidan River from its headwaters near Graves Mill to Somerset, and from Raccoon Ford to the confluence with the Rappahannock.

March 2015

SoilKeepers serves five clients in its second year.

January 2016

StreamSweepers completes a final maintenance sweep of the full 100 miles of the Rapidan and Robinson Rivers, performs an assessment and clean-up on the Hughes River, and partners with the NIH/NCI on a multi-year project to test water samples from the Rappahannock watershed for endocrine-disrupting compounds.

February 2016

SoilKeepers serves 22 clients in its third year.

March 2016

The Community Wood Energy Project is completed.

January 2017

StreamSweepers cleans 20 miles of the Rappahannock River from Remington to the confluence with the Rapidan and performs an assessment and light cleaning of the Mattaponi River. The Clinch River Clean-Up kicks off an assessment of over 60 miles of the most scenic and bio-diverse river in Virginia.

February 2017
February 2017

SoilKeepers serves 34 clients in its fourth year.

January 2018
January 2018

StreamSweepers cleans the Rappahannock from Waterloo to Remington and assists Hazel River and Middle River volunteers with comprehensive ecological assessments and light cleaning of those rivers, wrapping up the Rappahannock River Basin Comprehensive Clean-Up. The Clinch River Clean-Up continues its assessment of the river and plans for the launch of a five-year clean-up effort to remove up to 10,000 tires from the river.

February 2018

The Center makes plans to move offices to the Historic Rapidan Mill in Rapidan, VA.

January 2019

StreamSweepers launches the Clinch River Clean-Up and cleans over 13 miles of the river, providing summer jobs to 15 young people in Southwest Virginia, and removing over 1,000 tires and over 7 tons of other trash.

February 2019
February 2019

Initial renovations of space in the old Rapidan Flour offices at Rapidan Mill are completed. The Center moves its headquarters to Rapidan.

January 2020
January 2020

The Center launches the Rapidan Institute to focus on comprehensive fisheries and floodplain habitat restoration in the Rapidan and Robinson River watersheds, and the Rapidan Fish Passage Project (RFPP) to restore free flow to the Rapidan River by modifying a dam at the village of Rapidan and reconnect the river’s headwaters with the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

February 2020

StreamSweepers cleans over 22 miles of the Clinch River, providing summer jobs to 13 young people, and removing over 1,000 tires and 11 tons of other trash.

March 2020

As a result of contacts made by the Community Wood Energy Project, the Center is asked to assist the University of Tennessee in a project funded by the FAA to explore the use of logging residues from Central Appalachia as feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel.

January 2021
January 2021

StreamSweepers cleans over 35 miles of the Clinch River, providing summer jobs to 15 young people, and removing over 1,600 tires and over 25 tons of other trash.

February 2021

State and federal agencies perform due diligence on the feasibility of altering the dam for RFPP. The Center submits a proposal to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE) Inter-Agency Review Team for a mitigation bank on the Rapidan River.

January 2022
January 2022

The Board of Directors unanimously decides to change our name to American Climate Partners.

February 2022

Building on our decade of vegetation and soil health management experience through SoilKeepers, the Virginia Grasslands Deep Soil Carbon project launches as a research effort to develop data from deep in the soil and to expand the methods used to achieve greater soil carbon storage. As part of this project, a partnership with a major utility begins to develop and test protocols for increasing carbon sequestration under solar panel arrays.

March 2022

StreamSweepers cleans over 27 miles of the Clinch River, providing summer jobs to 11 young people, and removing over 2,200 tires and over 25 tons of other trash and performs a maintenance sweep on 20 miles of the Robinson River in Central Virginia.

April 2022

American Climate Partners creates ACP Realty Holdings LLC, purchases the Rapidan Mill dam and adjacent land on the Culpeper County side of the river.

January 2023
January 2023

Southeastern Climate Restoration Solutions program launches to implement our growing realization that modifications in landscape management could be a cost-effective natural solution for carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services selects us as a partner with a multi-million-dollar award to expand measurement and monitoring of carbon in soil on working agricultural lands and to assess how climate-smart practices are affecting carbon sequestration in 12 southeastern states.

February 2023

StreamSweepers cleans over 30 miles of the Clinch River, providing summer jobs to 11 young people, and removing 1,778 tires and nearly 19 tons of other trash. Looking forward, StreamSweepers convenes a stakeholder meeting to begin planning for a multi-state clean-up in the upper Big Sandy watershed of Southwestern Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and Southeastern West Virginia.

March 2023

SoilKeepers serves 53 clients in its tenth year, including two large homeowners’ associations.

April 2023

After hearing recommendations from outside advisors, the mitigation bank concept for funding RFPP is abandoned and we submit an application to NOAA-Fisheries for funding under its Restoring Fish Passage program.