Family farms in Wood and Lucas counties are among the 11 properties totaling nearly 1,000 acres being added this year to the holdings of the Black Swamp Conservancy.
The new properties, which are protected through perpetual land conservation agreements with the conservancy, include:
• Family farms in Wood County (41 acres) and Lucas County (147 acres)
• South Lake Hunt Club, a 71-acre marsh in Ottawa County
• Four farms covering about 320 acres near Delta in Fulton County
• A scenic overlook parcel near Sidecut Metropark in Maumee
• Port Clinton Lakefront Preserve, a 14-acre public park near Lake Erie
• A 73-acre wildlife sanctuary along the Maumee River in Paulding County.
• A 247-acre farm near Tiffin
Conservation easements restrict the permitted uses of land in order to protect the property’s conservation value. The restrictions against development are binding on current and future owners of the property.
Protected farmland may only be used for agriculture. Woods, meadows, wetlands, and waterside lands on which the conservancy holds a land conservation agreement can’t be developed for commercial or residential use.
“We’re pleased to partner with landowners across northwest Ohio to permanently protect such diverse lands,” said Kevin Joyce, executive director of the Black Swamp Conservancy. “Together, we’re helping create healthier communities by keeping our air and water clean, preserving habitat for native plants, animals and fish, and supporting the sustainability of our community’s agriculture and ecotourism industries.”
Joyce said he expects the conservancy’s growth to continue in 2010.
“Through funding from the state Clean Ohio program alone, we have nine farms and four nature preserves in process,” he said. “That’s another 1,500 acres of our rural heritage that will be protected