Muncie, Ind. – The Land Conservation Fund project has secured over 300 acres of land in East Central Indiana. The fund was created to preserve and protect important conservation and recreation areas throughout Delaware County or those owned by Delaware County organizations. A partnership between The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc., Ball Brother’s Foundation and the George and Francis Ball Foundation formed, and the fund developed in 2013 to capture matching donations of land or dollars from the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.
“The Land Conservation Fund helps protect the land for future generations of Hoosiers to enjoy,” said John Craddock, chairman of the Land Conservation grants committee. “The impact extends beyond this fund, however. There are additional projects for which the Fund acted as a catalyst to make transfers happen through gifts from outside donors and companies. Exciting work has been done to date; it is possible for this work to continue beyond the life of the Bicentennial Nature Trust.”
Rainbow Farm (Red-tail Conservancy) received $145,362 from the Land Conservation Fund to acquire a 117-acre site near Prairie Creek Reservoir that includes an upland forest with a connecting corridor to a forested, wetland riparian area along White River, as well as an upland old field and tillable ground. The total project cost is $296,737 with some in-kind costs covered by the landowner. In June 2014, Bicentennial Nature Trust provided an additional $141,875 for the project. This project is fully funded, and Red-tail has closed on this property.
John M. Craddock Wetlands Nature Preserve (Cardinal Greenway) received $3,000 to assist with the acquisition of a 21.5-acre site that includes an upland forest, wetlands, and prairie with a connecting corridor to the White River and Cardinal Greenway’s White River Greenway Trail. When the application the Bicentennial Nature Trust was denied, the City of Muncie agreed to sell this parcel to Cardinal Greenway for $10.00 with the acquisition cost paid for with the grant.
Smith-Crisler Nature Preserve (Red-tail Conservancy) received $90,500 from the Land Conservation Fund to acquire a 104-acre site in Henry County that includes riparian, upland woodlands, and wetland plant and animal communities. The site protects a portion of the Fall Creek wildlife corridor and will provide hiking and birdwatching opportunities. This grant leveraged additional grants from Indiana Heritage Trust, Henry County Community Foundation, and Bicentennial Nature Trust. The total project cost is $402,000, and this project is fully funded and closing soon.
Valena Woods (Red-tail Conservancy) was awarded $42,000 to acquire a 44-acre site along the White River just west of Yorktown to be purchased along with an additional 100-acre parcel upon which the landowners will donate a conservation easement to Red-tail Conservancy. Approximately one-half of the site was formerly used for agricultural production, but that use has ceased. The former agricultural areas were planted with native hardwood trees and are currently nicely recovering old fields. The rest of the site is mature riparian woodlands. The project will permanently protect a one-half mile stretch of the south bank of the White River. The total project cost is $86,050, and this project was approved and funded by the Bicentennial Nature Trust.
Cardinal Greenway Expansion (Cardinal Greenway) secured a donation of 12 acres of land by Irving Materials, Inc. This site follows 4,000 feet of bank along the Mississinewa River in Grant County and will be used in the expansion of the Cardinal Greenway in future years. To help facilitate this transaction, the Land Conservation Fund paid for the donation agreement as well as up to $3,000 in acquisition costs. This project is fully funded and in-process. It is hoped that this donation will act as a catalyst for surrounding landowners.
The Land Conservation Fund supports the work of the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust and is just one of the ways that The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County is helping to preserve and conserve land in and around Delaware County. The more than 300 acres secured in East Central Indiana will provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
For more information on The Land Conservation Fund, visit The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County website at www.cfmdin.org or contact Kelly K. Shrock, President, at 765-747-7181.