- Seymour House, Greenbelt Board, 2011
I grew up on a land grant farm with remnants of native big bluestem above the Mississippi floodplain, where we also had another piece of ground – just about the place Huck Finn’s dad took him to across from Hannibal, Missouri. That cabin would have been just over the levee from our bean field, out in the scrub of the flood plain where the snapping turtles lived. My father loved pointing out the trees his grandfather had planted– cypress, pecan – all of which still stand. The river visits from time to time – in ’67 when I remember eating doughnuts with the National Guard guys filling sandbags,and more recently in ’93 when the old levee broke, sweeping away our barns but not the pecan trees. I spent nearly all my spring breaks from high school with my father, planting natives – paw-paw, hickory, white pine - in the margins of our fields. He later deeded a conservation easement to the IllinoisDepartment of Conservation along the fragile wetlands. I figure we must have planted 10,000 trees over the years. My brother still farms that ground, hunts morels and dove – most of it arable, the rest of it for the birds and turtles.
Rural Illinois has nothing like the population pressure we have here. Practically everywhere you look, bits of wild riparian and prairie land persist, maybe because no one moves there. Benton County is a different story.
When the Greenbelt Land Trust appeared on my horizon, it was like coming home. We live outside Philomath in a schoolhouse built by a former slave in the 1860’s. It’s now what you might call a farmlet – some sheep, chickens … no tillage, lots of trees. A friend and restorationist helped return part of it to seasonal wetlands, tripling the bird species almost overnight, and now Camas blooms, red-winged blackbirds offer that lucent song of theirs, and the place has been transformed, or rather restored to what it must have been when Rueben Shipley built the school in the 19th century. What once was here can easily be lost – but just as often it can be easily preserved. That is why I’m delighted to be part of the GLT – to help us all find ways to foster similar preservation and restoration.
*Read about Seymour’s family farm and the ’93 flood in the
New Yorker 8/9/1993 story “Battle on the Sny”
The Greenbelt Land Trust’s record of success in conserving significant natural areas, restoring habitats, creating educational and recreational opportunities, and providing hands-on experiences for our members rests directly on the support we receive from members, friends, businesses, and others.
If you value open space, the natural environment, and your community, please consider a gift the Greenbelt Land Trust. It’s an investment in your future!
There is no easier way to support Greenbelt Land Trust—and garner a charitable deduction—than writing a check. Gifts postmarked by December 31st will be credited in this tax year. You can Donate Online or send by mail. Click here and print the mail-in form.
Greenbelt Land Trust offers a variety of deferred and life income gift options that can help you reduce taxes and receive income while supporting land conservation in your community. For more information, contact Jessica McDonald at the Greenbelt office at (541) 752-9609.
Members of our Heritage Giving Club contribute monthly through an electronic funds transfer from their bank. It’s automatic, it’s easy, it really helps, and it lets us budget effectively. To set up a monthly electronic funds transfer please contact Jessica McDonald at 541-752-9609 or by email email@example.com.
Greenbelt Land Trust participates in Earth Share of Oregon, a program that encourages charitable giving at your workplace. You can participate if you work at Hewlett Packard, CH2M Hill, City of Corvallis, Benton County, OSU, other state or federal agency, or First Alternative Coop. (If your workplace is not currently involved in the Earth Share giving program,joining is easy.) For more information, please contact ESOR: (503) 223-9015 or visit www.earthshare-oregon.org.
Stock Donations Donating stocks, bonds and mutual funds directly provides an income tax deduction for the full value of the stock while avoiding capital gains taxes. GLT sells your stock and puts the proceeds towards our land conservation and habitat restoration programs. If you are planning a gift of stock, please contact Jessica McDonald at the Greenbelt office by phone (541) 752-9609 first for assistance— and to make sure we have the information we need to thank you for the gift!
Greenbelt Land Trust accepts gifts of real property including vacation homes, rental properties, farms and commercial buildings. Proceeds from the sale of real estate support our land acquisition program, and real estate gifts can provide you with significant tax and financial advantages. For more information, contact Michael Pope at the Greenbelt office at (541) 752-9609. And for information on donating or protecting land for conservation purposes, please see Protecting Your Land.