The state of Ohio granted the name change in February to the trust that began in 2000 as the Philander Chase Corporation.
new name really reflects what we are doing. People can now read
‘Philander Chase Conservancy’ and understand our mission at a glance,”
said Lisa Schott, managing director of the landtrust.
The trust encourages the preservation of land around Gambier by helping land owners through a deed-restriction process. The conservancy can purchase land outright, but most of its work is providing technical assistance and financial support to private land owners in the purchase of conservation and agricultural easements.
Win, chair of the Philander Chase Conservancy Board of Trustees, said,
“PCC’s accomplishments over the past 15 years will ensure that a
substantial portion of our region’s watershed and natural resources will
be protected for generations to come. Our new name reflects one of the
many new initiatives in our long-term partnership with local
farmers, landowners and the community. It is heartening to know that the
open vistas we see today will be enjoyed by our grandchildren.”
conservancy holds 21 conservation easements and 17 agricultural
easements. Those development restrictions protect more than 5,000 acres
within a 5-mile radius of Gambier in perpetuity, except in cases of
eminent domain. The easements prohibit certain types of commercial and
large residential subdivision development.
“We are not
anti-development. We want to see smart development,” Schott said.
“A scattering of little developments everywhere is not smart for the tax
base and not smart for sewer usage.”
The conservancy has evolved
into a civic force for natural beauty and the area’s agricultural
heritage. Kenyon awoke to the issue when a recreational-vehicle park was
proposed along the Kokosing River near the entrance to Kenyon, at the
intersection of SR 229 and SR 308, in the 1980s.
The corporation formed in 2000, the same year as the Owl Creek Conservancy, which seeks to protect land
across Knox County. The two nonprofit organizations have
become conservation catalysts for the rural county, and the name change
for the Kenyon landtrust was made in part to reflect that close working relationship.
“At the landtrust, one of our biggest goals is to protect land along the river,” Schott said.
In recent years, the College has added to its contiguous land
holdings as opportunities arose and money became available through
donations. Kenyon and the conservancy own about 1,200 acres, including
the 2012 purchase of the 11-acre Kenyon Farm just east of Gambier
and the 2013 purchase of a 51-acre golf course that has been converted
into a nature preserve and natural burial setting, now called the Kokosing Nature Preserve.
To learn more about the conservancy, call 740-427-5902.
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