Parke County Land Gains Protection

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Joe McCurdy owns the land and donated the conservation easement. Joe McCurdy owns the land and donated the conservation easement.
PARKE COUNTY -

Nearly 400 acres of land in Parke County have received protection from future development. Joe McCurdy, a local entrepreneur, has donated a conservation easement to the Central Indiana Land Trust to ensure the property will serve as a home to rare and endangered plants and animals.

The land trust says McCurdy, who owns Turkey Run Canoe & Camping near Bloomingdale, has spent years purchasing the the property, which is located near Turkey Run State Park. The conservation easement states the property will stay in private ownership but retain its current character, even if it is sold. 

The organization says it will monitor the property to make sure the terms of the easement are honored.

"This is the largest property CILTI has ever protected, and a textbook example of what CILTI is all about," said Cliff Chapman, executive director. "Although we focus on science-based conservation and an appreciation of plants, animals and ecosystem function, conservation is about people. The way to protect our most precious natural resources is through relationships and working with landowners who want to be good stewards of important sites."

The land trust says the property features rare plants, such as large-flowered trilliums, and neo-tropical migrant birds, including the endangered cerulean warbler and rare worm-eating warbler. Since the property will remain in private ownership, the organization says it will not be open to the public.

A conservation easement is a legal agreement that puts specific land-use restrictions on a property, according to the organization. Those restrictions are in accordance with the desires of the property owner and are attached to the title of the property. Because of that, they will remain in place even if the property is sold to new owners.

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