BELLEFONTAINE – The Annual Membership Meeting of the Logan County Land Trust on March 9 in Bellefontaine included a speaker and program updates.
Two members of the West Liberty Village Council, Jill McKelvey and Jayne Griffith, discussed a potential collaboration for a new village project. The council is considering creating a green community space next to the bike path on the west side of the village. Cyclists, walkers and hikers who use the trail could stop and and discover the village, with amenities near the path to enjoy rest, bike service and shelter.
The Land Trust board will discuss the possibility of applying for community grants to create green spaces with trees, prairie grasses and therapeutic plantings using Permaculture designs. Additional ideas include creating a shelter from re-claimed lumber or relocating a small historical building in the county utilizing Landmark Preservation grants as well as including other community groups and partners.
About 20 guests and board members were present for the main guest speaker, David Miran, executive director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Hemp Program. He shared details of the new approved Hemp program and application process for new Ohio producers. He stated there is an abundance of interest and his office of 4 is handling about 100 calls a day from potential Ohio growers.
Miran also shared information regarding the Ohio Farmland Preservation process, specific areas in Logan County already reserved and Century farms located in the county. Commissioner Joe Antram shared with the audience the status of his historical family farm now awarded with the title of “Century Farm.”
Land Trust President Bob Stoll reviewed the organizations accomplishments this past year, as well as new and ongoing projects. As of spring, 2020, 2916 acres are preserved with an additional 680 acres in the application process with closings within 2 years. Currently, the Land Trust has assisted landowners to bring $ 3,027,152.00 into the county’s economy with another $1,238,329.00 additional monies after closings.
Other areas of service from the all-volunteer Board and members, with a budget of approximately $7000.00, is the ongoing Youth Environmental Club at Ben Logan School, educational programs for youth and adults and protecting woodlands using conservation methods. Additional funds are needed for new projects the Board would like to create such as acquiring new lands for preservation, expanding Youth environmental clubs to other schools in the county, protecting our county landmarks and presenting programs on Farm Succession.
Members of the LCLT Board are currently collaborating with Champaign County and agency representatives to create and present programs in both counties on utilizing cover crops with a $10,000 grant award from the National Wildlife Federation. Hopefully, this will be an ongoing incentive for farmers to use cover crops as not only a land preservation method but also to reduce erosion due to flooding in our county.
This spring, the LCLT will launch a new fund-raising campaign to preserve and restore the Log Cabin at Camp Myeerah. The goal is to raise at least $50,000. The log cabin is one of very few left in our county and the Board is committed to assist with the restoration and create a useful landmark to be enjoyed by our community.
The Board accepts new members and donations and appreciates the continued support to fulfill their mission.
Submitted by the Logan County Land Trust.