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FLT staff explores newest 68-acre conservation property

It’s a sunny Friday morning when we arrive at the historic family home of our newest partner in property conservation. The nearly 100-year-old home is a museum of family history, with portraits and documents galore. However, this home and its contents aren’t the bulk of what the landowner has preserved.


The boundary of our latest conservation easement begins across the road, where we enter a wooded wonderland of steep hills, lively streams, and an abundance of native plant species: mosses, liverworts, ferns, oaks and hickories of record heights, and a grapevine of an unbelievable girth surrounds us. We then head up towards the oldest part of the forest, where we also find tulip poplars, basswood, ash, walnut, sugar maple, and shortleaf pines.

There is a historical footprint left on part of the land; marks of its agricultural past can be seen on some of the property. A large, flat, grassy field– once a cow pasture– is now surrounded by tall trees and bottlebrush buckeye, the dominant shrub here. A creek runs through the property that is fed by 11 different nearby springs. Bordering the creek is a wall of limestone bluffs, which the landowner tells us will be covered in a large-flowered bellwort in a few months.

We are already anticipating a visit in the spring, when the property blooms with white and purple trillium, and a myriad of other wildflowers. It is truly a special place, and thanks to our landowner’s passion for the land, its wildness will be preserved well beyond our lifetimes.

Freshwater Land Trust is thrilled to be receiving this easement from The Nature Conservancy, who have managed the stewardship of this property since 2006. We look forward to continuing the preservation of this special land through this transfer. Funding and support for this project was also made possible by the Conservation Fund.


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