18 acres added in Wells County. 19 acres south of Warsaw. 17 to two preserves in Noble County. In addition to acquiring larger ecologically rare and unique lands, ACRES Land Trust values the opportunity to work with its neighbors to expand existing nature preserves through smaller acquisitions.
“Adding to existing preserves will always be a priority to ACRES,” says Jason Kissel, executive director of the donor-supported organization. “Additions increase protection for the original preserve, expanding habitat or enclosing a natural feature, keeping it safe. Adding to the lands our donors protect reinforces ACRES’ promise to protect places forever.”
ACRES never pays more than the appraised value of land and often acquires property through bargain sales or donations, whereby land donors may receive tax benefit. Recent preserve additions span the organization’s 27-county service area.
Roger and Carla Wagoner, neighbors to ACRES’ Wildwood nature preserve south of Warsaw, gave the nonprofit the opportunity to purchase a 19-acre addition, enclosing the preserve’s pond and protecting the oldest part of the adjacent forest. The Conservation Fund provided funding for this addition.
These lands are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for impacts caused by the construction and maintenance of the Reynolds Topeka Electric System Improvement Project in partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
ACRES needs to raise $43,584 to complete this acquisition.
When a generous Allen County couple approached the nonprofit about how they could help, the organization reviewed options. The conservation-minded donors chose to fund the purchase of a 16-acre addition to ACRES’ 68-acre Noble County Sauga Swamp from a preserve neighbor who had been in touch with the organization. The land trust also recently accepted the donation of an acre to its ten acre Tamarack Nature Preserve in Noble County.
“ACRES values and enjoys pairing donors’ interests and goals with high priority of projects,” said Kissel. “Being prepared by being aware of potential projects gives us the chance to honor their intentions.”
Southwestern Wells County land donor Kristie Fuller recently added 18 acres to the 56-acre Hurb and Frances Fuller Woods preserve, named for her grandfather and father, which she donated in 2017.
“I don’t have children,” says Fuller on protecting land with ACRES. “I’m the last one on my line. I think my family would have thought this was a good thing to do, to keep the place taken care of in perpetuity, with their names on it.”
ACRES Land Trust, Indiana’s oldest and largest land trust, protects and manages 7,000 acres on 100 properties in the tristate area. You can take responsibility to help protect local natural and working land by donating, joining as a member or volunteering with the nonprofit. Connect with ACRES Land Trust at 260-637-2273, acreslandtrust.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/ACRES.LT.