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....

 more about Bob's woodlands

Martz Family Farm in Whitley County

As told by Hugh Martz, modern-day conservationist and historian

 The Martz story



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Photo credit: rwkvisual via Foter.com / CC BY

Eigsti Farm 

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.

Eigsti Family story

Mike and Rhonda Yoder 

Until retiring from dairy farming in 2020, Mike and Rhonda Yoder were stewards of Crystal Valley Dairy Farms in Elkhart County, Indiana.

The 450 cow dairy operation and 160 acres were part of a innovative  pilot project which leased development rights utilizing an Elkhart County Agricultural Tax Incremental Financing district. Since selling the farmland at the dairy farm to another farm family, Mike and Rhonda now reside on a 70-acre parcel which has a conservation easement held by Wood-Land-Lakes Land Trust.  It features 30 acres of tillable land, a scenic farm pond, and a woodland and wetland area that each year rolls out a breathtaking palette of wildflowers, including a large display of trillium.  

The dairy farm operation was an early adapter of management practices which incorporated cover crops and reducing herbicide inputs.   Click here to learn more about the dairy farm and its cover crop practices

"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

Waugh 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.


poyser 1-1

Poyser Family Farm

Video interview

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

Sanders Farm

Farm by Annie Sanders