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: Conservation Easment for Glen Helen :

June 29, 2011 Press Release:

Antioch College is announcing it is taking steps to permanently protect Glen Helen. Upon completion of the project, the 1,000-acre preserve will have a permanent legal blanket of protection from development.

Antioch College and its Glen Helen Ecology Institute have asked the Ohio office of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, to purchase the property and convey it to a new nonprofit, the Glen Helen Conservancy. TPL will also secure funding to purchase conservation easements covering the entire property, which will be held and monitored by the Tecumseh Land Trust, a non-profit accredited by the Land Trust Alliance to preserve land in Clark and Greene Counties.

Roles:

Antioch College Corporation: Will convey the land to TPL and the conservation easements to the Tecumseh Land Trust. Full access for students and faculty for research, recreation, study, and co-operative work will continue.
Glen Helen Conservancy:
A new 501(c)(3), supporting organization of Antioch College, will take ownership of and manage the entire Glen Helen Preserve.
The Trust for Public Land:
Will facilitate the transactions. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: Will provide funding to place an environmental covenant that further restricts development on the most ecologically sensitive parts of the Preserve and will support Tecumseh Land Trust in defending the covenant.
Tecumseh Land Trust:
Will hold and monitor the easement and covenant on the Glen Helen Preserve.

Why is Antioch College taking these steps?

Glen Helen is a much-beloved natural resource for the college, for the village of Yellow Springs, for Ohio and for the entire region. It is a recreational destination, a nationally-recognized center for environmental education, and a significant ecological, scenic, and cultural asset. Until now, Glen Helen has been managed and maintained in the spirit of protecting these resources. These steps allow Antioch College to make Glen Helen an enduring ecological and public resource, with permanent restrictions for development of the property, with management by an entity dedicated to its preservation. Funds generated through the establishment of these protections would be restricted to the Glen and allow for ongoing upkeep and maintenance.

Why is Antioch College creating a nonprofit conservancy?

Antioch College realizes that for Glen Helen to endure as a natural and recreational resource, it needs to be managed by an entity dedicated to that purpose.

Why is Antioch College pursuing a conservation easement and environmental covenant?

Glen Helen has significant development potential and restricting development through an easement and covenant is the best way to ensure the land will never be anything but a preserve.  A conservation easement and environmental covenant detail permanent restriction of certain rights associated with a property, often limiting development. Transferring these rights to a land trust ensures and that protections will exist permanently as part of the deed to the land.

Isn’t the Glen already protected?

Not nearly as well as it could be. Glen Helen presently has three levels of protection.  First, there are initial deed restrictions from Hugh Taylor Birch, dating back to his 1929 gift. Second, Antioch College regards its commitment to protecting Glen Helen to be a sacred trust. Finally, there are easements held by Glen neighbors totaling about 70 acres.  Unfortunately, none of these are as strong as a modern conservation easement or environmental covenant.

How will future generations of Antioch students and the public be able to use Glen Helen?

Glen Helen benefactor Hugh Taylor Birch intended that the Glen be treated as part of the Antioch College campus, with opportunities for students, faculty, and the public to study, conduct research, and simply enjoy being in nature. Permanent protection for Glen Helen will help ensure that this access continues.

How will this help Glen Helen on a day-to-day basis?

Permanent protection would remove a cloud of uncertainty and provide needed resources.  Without protection, the Glen is akin to a person without a will or without car insurance. The Glen exists with a level of risk that will not be fully addressed until permanent protection is achieved.  Permanent protection will make it easier for friends of Glen Helen to contemplate planned gifts, such as bequests or other legacy support.

What would happen to Glen Helen if Antioch College should close at any point in the future?

With a conservation easement in place, the Glen would be protected from development and its programs would have the opportunity to continue.


Contacts:

Antioch College, Glen Helen
Nick Boutis, Glen Helen Director: 937-286-6884 (mobile), nboutis@glenhelen.org
Gariot Louima, Director of Communications: 937-319-6131, 937-581-8201
(mobile), glouima@antiochcollege.org

Trust for Public Land
Bill Carroll, State Director: 216-928-7518, 216-952-7934 (mobile),
bill.carroll@tpl.org

Tecumseh Land Trust
Krista Magaw, Executive Director: 937-767-9490, 937-767-0257 (mobile),
Krista@tecumsehlandtrust.org