ACRES Land Trust | Something you can rely on
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ACRES Land Trust | Something you can rely on

“If not us then who if not now then when?”
I think given the fact that we’ve already lost something like 85% of our
natural areas in our state we can’t really afford to wait any longer ACRES Land Trust finds significant land
and preserves it forever, and what we mean by that is we look for land that’s
either unique, has had a long social history or a unique natural feature on
it, we acquire that land and then we guarantee never to sell it. That’s the
beautiful thing, once ACRES’ name is on the deed, it’ll always be on the deed.
So when we drove up the lane today, this is the first I had been here for several
years and nothing has changed. Everything looks the same and it just, it does,
it gives you a sense of peace that you know it’s it’s always going to be here
and other people will be able to come and learn from it,
visit. ACRES forms relationships and when we’re talking to a landowner they’ve got
this history with their property their family has grown up here, they raised
children here, they farmed the land, they’ve interacted with the land. There’s this
built in love of the land and then they have this hard
choice to make: who is going to be the next caretaker of this land? And when
ACRES is, it’s a beautiful thing for the giver because they know that way
they have managed their land, the love that they have for it will continue even
beyond them. And for the organization it’s a beautiful thing, too, because we become the steward of that land and we respect that land. And
so it’s this chain of custody, chain of support and chain of ,
it’s truly love, of the land that continues when that relationship exists. One of our favorite parts about
exploring is the sense of adventure that you feel and the connection that you
have to nature. Being in the woods, being in a field and exploring gives you a
moment to kind of pause and reflect and look at things from a different
perspective than you looked at before. We love that as a family we leave there
energized and excited and asking when do we get to come back next? And that’s
something that I love to experience for myself and I love for my kids to reflect
that same excitement back. You can talk about this thing called land
preservation and you can talk about acreage and you can talk about nature
preserves, but when you actually experience it, when you walk through the
woods you start to gain a personal relationship with the land and that’s
what acres does on a large scale. You know you look around and you see the
trees and you see the brush and the fallen leaves. Once you really get in
there and start looking I mean there’s just this there’s a whole other world
that we oftentimes ignore and is invisible and we get out there and we
notice it. There’s just this amazing world waiting right there for you to
discover. When I was a kid you could go down and it was always so peaceful
there’s a couple of spots that I always enjoyed. One of them is right down by the
creek and you can go down there, you could sit, you could watch the
dragonflies and you knew every, every spring something was going to be there.
It’s a continuity, it’s peaceful and it’s something you can always rely on. As a
nonprofit, ACRES relies on people, people who just say I’m going to be part of
this I want to be responsible for the places
being preserved. All of our money is private, we don’t have federal grants we
don’t have money coming in. This is just people who see what we, do appreciate
what we do and want to make sure that it continues. At some point, it became very
clear to us that we needed to put our money where our heart was, so we looked
at it as a way to give back, as a way to support a cause that we really cared a
lot about. It’s just a clear example of how the power of us coming together, how we can each do small things with great love. It’s just so satisfying to be a
part of. Wanting to preserve land isn’t anything new for me. At the age of five,
we were living in Boise, Idaho and my dad worked for the U.S. Forest Service. And
so we’re at the top of this mountain looking over what to a five-year-old
look like the whole world. And my dad walked up and said, “Hey, Jase, part of what I do is
care for everything you see.” And so I knew from that point forward that I love
trees and that I really like the idea that someone can manage land. And that’s why I love ACRES. It’s because ACRES protects land beyond my tenure with the organization, beyond anything that I could accomplish.
I know that the work that we do is always going to be there for that next
five-year-old who comes across one of the preserves and says, “Wow! I can’t
believe this exists.” And someone says you can be part of this through ACRES.

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