By Therese Pawlowski
Open space is more valuable than developed spaced, notes Lake Erie Region Conservancy Director Tom Fuhrman. Trees provide oxygen, wetlands prevent, and parks provide opportunities for recreation and exercise.
The Conservancy has worked since 2000 to preserve natural areas, also known as "open space." They started by preserving what is now known as Erie Bluff State Park. Since then, they have protected another 600 acres of land.
The Conservancy either buys land or it is donated by landowners. Sometimes if people still want to live or build a house on the land, an agreement will be reached between the conservancy and the landowner, where the land is protected – other than the agreed on development. When developers donate land to the conservancy, it is considered a charitable donation and can be written off on tax forms.
The Conservancy usually works on two to three projects a year. Recently, Fuhrman said that they were able to preserve a two acre park, which included a stream ideal for trout fishing.
For more information go to the LERC website or contact Tom Fuhrman at (814) 566-9319.
Image courtesy of LERC