Land Trust Celebrates 50 Years of Service

By WISE Web News

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--NOT LONG AGO, A COUPLE OF HUNDRED YEARS OR SO, THEY SAY A SQUIRREL COULD TRAVEL THE TREETOPS FROM THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER…AND NEVER TOUCH THE GROUND. WE CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THAT TODAY, BUT THERE ARE STILL BITS AND PIECES OF THAT GRAND FOREST THAT ONCE COVERED A THIRD OF THE CONTINENT, THANKS TO GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS THAT BUY UP IMPORTANT TRACTS OF LAND TO PRESERVE THEM FOR GENERATIONS TO COME…ORGANIZATIONS LIKE ACRES, INCORPORATED, FOUNDED IN 1960 BY LOCAL ENVIRONMENTALISTS TOM AND JANE DUSTIN.

Jason: They were doing lots of work in water quality and environmentalism in lots of areas. This was their life.

OFFICES OF ACRES LANDTRUST ARE HOUSED ON THE DUSTIN’S HOMESTEAD NEAR CEDAR CREEK. THE ORGANIZATION WILL SOON CELEBRATE ITS FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY…FIFTY YEARS OF PRESERVING CRITICAL FORESTS, STREAMS AND WETLANDS IN NORTHEAST INDIANA, SOUTHERN MICHIGAN AND NORTHWEST OHIO. IN FIFTY YEARS ACRES HAS CREATED 68 NATURE PRESERVES COVERING NEARLY 45-HUNDRED ACRES. AND NOT JUST FOR PRESERVATION, BUT FOR THE PUBLICS ENJOYMENT AS WELL. PRESERVES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ARE LACED WITH HUNDREDS OF MILES OF WELL-MARKED TRAILS THAT EXPOSE HIKERS TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS…NOT TO MENTION SOLITUDE…THAT CITY DWELLERS RARELY EXPERIENCE.

Jason: People say they feel an immediate release when they enter a preserve, that immediate release of tensions. For others it’s a spiritual experience entering the woods.

ACRES NATURE PRESERVES ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES, BUT THAT MAY NOT BE THE ORGANIZATIONS GREATEST CONTRIBUTION. WE’RE MUCH MORE AWARE THESE DAYS OF JUST HOW FRAGILE OUR ENVIRONMENT IS. AND THAT’S A LESSON WE’RE LEARNING BY EXAMPLE SET ONE ACRE AT A TIME, IN MANY CORNERS, LUCKILY, OF ‘YOUR COUNTRY’. ERIC OLSON REPORTING.




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