11,300 Acres Protected
Meet Some of Our Dedicated Landowners:
Bob’s Beloved Land
The Straub Family Woodlands
On December 24, 1942, Robert C. Straub and Eileen R. Potts were united in marriage. Their honeymoon was spent at an old farmhouse on the property Bob’s parents, Joseph and Sara Straub, had purchased in 1934. This property overlooks the east shore of Round Lake, off County Road 350 East, northeast of Columbia City, Indiana. Within months, Bob enlisted in the Navy to serve during WWII....
Thousands of people in Elkhart County drive by this land and never give it a glance. There is nothing unique about the land. There are a few old buildings, a hay field and some brush and trees. And except for the conservation easement on this small parcel of farmland, it would be just another prime spot for new residential development in a rapidly growing county.
In 1998, Wood Land Lakes Land Trust accepted its first conservation easement on 36 acres located just east of Goshen Indiana on State Road 4. This seemingly modest start for a new land trust represents something much more important than a simple easement on a small parcel of land. The Eigsti Farm was owned by Orie Eigsti, the developer of the seedless watermelon. While it is unclear if Orie conducted any research at this location, his family’s deep love for agriculture and the land provided our land trust with its inaugural conservation easement and a chance to preserve a piece of agricultural history.
Mike and Rhonda Yoder
Mike and Rhonda Yoder are stewards of Crystal Valley Dairy Farms in Elkhart County, Indiana.
The 450 cow dairy operation and 160 acres are the first to be protected from development through a development rights lease agreement, launching Elkhart County’s Agricultural Tax Incremental Financing district -- the State's most effective farm conservation tool yet implemented.
A separate 70-acre parcel has a conservation easement held by Wood-Land-Lakes Land Trust. It features 30 acres of tillable land, a scenic farm pond, and pristine wooded expanses that each year rolls out a breathtaking palette of wildflowers, notably rare trillium species. The farm is anchored by an oak tree estimated to be 250 years of age.
The farm’s fertile soils present vistas that engage the senses, creating a conservation imperative. To learn more about the farm and its management practices more about CVD
"Welcome Home Farm"
"Welcome Home Farm" - The George and Rachel Weybright Family Agriculture Conservation Easement was recorded in early 2015 and is our most recent easement. This beautiful, diverse farm is now protected from development and will allow future generations to enjoy the property as many past generations have enjoyed it.
more about Welcome Home Farm
Located in White County Indiana, this conservation easement includes about 7,500 acres of diversified farmland. This farm boasts traditional cropland, woodlands, pastures, a wind farm, and even two city parks! The wind turbines are part of a larger wind farm, producing environmentally-friendly energy for Indiana.
Additional information soon.
Sanders Family Farm in LaGrange County
Annie Sanders wanted protect her 140-acre family farm from residential sprawl and non-agriculture uses so she donated a conservation easement to Wood-Land-Lakes in 2003.
more about Annie Sanders