Agricultural Easements

An agricultural easement is another form of conservation easement focusing on agricultural property.

The Trust received its first agricultural easement in April 2002 when Arthur Kramer of Harrison Township placed his 81-acre farm under conservation protection. Arthur said "It's just the right thing to do." The Kramer Farm will be an oasis in rapidly developing Harrison Township.

The second agricultural easement was received in December 2003 when Larry and Janet Neeley placed under conservation protection a substantial portion of their working farm and adjoining historical canal land. This property, located in Fairfield County just south of Millersport, has been in the Neeley family for 191 years. The canal property is part of the Ohio Canal's Deep Cut which was hand dug from 1825 to 1831.

Three additional farming properties came under conservation protection of the Trust in 2004. The first was the 72-acre Ilse Winter Farm in Hopewell Township. The next was the 115-acre Marian Bieberbach Farm in Franklin Township. Finally, at the Trust's 2004 Annual Meeting, Judy Farris signed the easement transferring conservation protection to the Trust for 52 acres of the Mockingbird Hill Conservation Subdivision in Granville and McKean Townships. The balance of the Mockingbird Hill Subdivision will be a residential development of nine homes under special zoning regulations of Granville and McKean Townships. This will allow the grouping of homes on lots smaller than the usually required one house per five acres, provided that at least 55 percent of the development area is greenspace.

Two additional farms covering 115 acres in the Granville School District came under conservation protection of the Trust at the end of 2006 through donations of easements by Union Township landowners Patricia James and Jay Matthews. The James Farm Conservation Easement and the James/Matthews Farm Conservation Easement both provide in perpetuity green space protection and prohibit development except for a total of three single-family homes on five acre sites within the 115-acre protected area.