In rural Deerfield Township, Isabella County, Anne Messinger took leadership of protecting the land where she resides. Anne reached out to the Conservancy in spring 2018 to see if several parcels adjacent to her 18 acres protected under a conservation easement with the CWC would make a good addition. When board member Stan Lilley and Executive Director Jon Breithaupt toured the 14 acres, they knew it made sense for inclusion into the Messinger Conservation Easement.
“When we explored the hardwood swampland, open meadow full of butterflies, and the trails Anne was maintaining on her recently purchased property, we knew it made sense to amend her current conservation easement and include these four parcels which totaled just over 14 acres,” said Breithaupt. “We value protecting lands adjacent or nearby other conservation easements, parklands or nature preserves. Increasing the size of protected areas is essential to create viable wildlife corridors, preserve clean air and drinking water, and enhance scenic views.”
Conservation easements are a cost-effective tool to protect privately owned natural space. They conserve natural resources by limiting certain development rights. Each easement is carefully crafted so goals of both CWC and the landowner will be achieved. Landowners can negotiate the terms of each conservation easement to fulfil their short and long term desires. “Working with the CWC to protect the conservation value of my land has been exceedingly gratifying and has required small effort from me. Working with Stan in 2015 to establish the easement and Jon in 2018 to extend it couldn’t have been easier or more rewarding. I truly felt informed, understood and supported through each process, and during ongoing monitoring. Being treated so personally is a great advantage of working with the CWC. It is a local organization whose staff, board and members treat each other like friends!” proclaimed Anne.
Anne continued, “My 32-acre parcel is just a very small part of the world, but I’m deeply grateful to CWC for providing me the choice of protecting this little tract. My beloved fields, wetlands and forest will still be beautiful and natural, long after I’m gone.”