What is this project?
The Land Conservation Foundation (LCF) needs to raise $20,000 to be placed in its dedicated Land Acquisition Fund, which we use in combination with other land acquisition grants from private foundations to purchase land. Why? Matching funds are required for these grants to happen. No matching funds, no grant.
We used such a grant to purchase 108 acres along the Sangamon River, now one of our most popular sites. Importantly, the Sangamon River is a recharge area for the Mahomet Aquifer, which was recently designated a Sole Source Aquifer for Drinking Water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Keeping recharge areas free of human development helps ensure high quality, clean drinking water for thousands of families in 15 Central Illinois counties. In addition, the Sangamon River provides high quality habitat for a wide range of aquatic species, which we want to protect too. LCF wants to be in a position to acquire more land along the river as it becomes available.
“When the well (aquifer) is dry, we know the worth of water.” ~ Ben Franklin – Poor Richard’s Almanac
What will this project accomplish?
We want to be ready to swoop in and buy more land along the Sangamon River as soon as it becomes available. In order to do this, we must have funds at the ready. This is our Land Acquisition Fund. This money is not used for anything except buying land. So, while a parcel of land we have our eye on might not be immediately available, we will have funds set aside and ready for when it does.
The more land we can purchase along the Sangamon River the more clean, safe drinking water we can ensure for our neighbors, as well as protect valuable aquatic plants and animals. As an added bonus, the Sangamon River is a popular place for trail walking, cyclist, and nature enthusiasts. We want to share these experiences!
Our initial goal is to use the money raised in this campaign to purchase 5-6 acres of floodplain property that would connect two large, already preserved properties. This would then allow for the extension of one of our popular recreational trails. Additionally, it creates more uninterrupted preserved land for wildlife to move through. We also have a long-term goal of purchasing larger additional tracts of land to further expand the recreational trail and better protect water quality.
As proof of completion, legal documents, photographs, and a bill of sale will be provided to donors 2 years after the project is funded, no later than January 15, 2023.