In rural Colfax Township, Mecosta County, John Bush made a vision a reality by permanently protecting 78 acres under a conservation easement with Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. Named after the former landowners and godparents of John, the Martz Conservation Easement preserves riparian corridor along a designated trout stream, restored grasslands for butterfly habitat and workable farmland that will remain in a natural state in perpetuity. John was delighted to close on his second conservation easement with CWC on May 2nd 2018.
When asked about why he felt moved to conserve his land John said, “As I grew up and saw two parcels our land sold, divided, and developed, I knew that if I was to honor and preserve the gifts of nature and the gifts from my ancestors, I would have to do something to get in the way of having that ever happen again. I was troubled as I pondered the responsibility that I felt. Then one day, I discovered the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. Their mission to ‘set aside land to preserve open spaces’ fit perfectly into what I was trying to find.”
CWC’s 39th conservation easement borders the Jacobson Easement – which totals 36.5 acres – on two sides. It is only a few miles away from John’s 92-acre easement which is also located on Ryan Creek. The Hayes Conservation Easement, totaling 118 acres, is nearby.
“I am a part of the land that I own and it has become a part of me. I became a part of the land while growing up. I walked and worked and played on the land and I listened to the stories told by my parents as they talked of their childhood, teenage, young adult, and then adult years — as they became a part of the land,” said John.
CWC has now forever protected nearly 4,700 acres under conservation easement.