$160,000 anonymous donation helps fund one of two land preservation projects in Webster Township
A $160,000 anonymous donation helped pave the way for one of two land preservation efforts in Webster Township near Dexter.
Webster Township’s land preservation program purchased a conservation easement on the Farrell/Lawson farm on the north side of Walsh Road near Merkel Road for $333,000, said Barry Lonik, the township’s land protection consultant.
The conservation easement means the land will remain in private hands and can’t be developed.
The easement on 75 acres of the Farrell/Lawson farm was paid for with a $160,000 anonymous donation from the Legacy Land Conservancy, a $173,000 federal grant from the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program and a contribution from the land owners, Lonik said.
The land includes a woodlot and wetlands and is near nearly 200 acres of agricultural and natural land already protected from development.
Voters first approved the four-year millage that funds the preservation program in 2005 and renewed the millage in 2009. It generates about $200,000 per year for the Webster Township Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, Lonik said.
While development rights to the Farrell/Lawson farm did not tap the program’s funds, local taxpayer money was used to purchase the development rights to 75.4-acre Krupp farm on the southeast corner of Huron River Drive and Gregory Road near Hudson Mills Metropark. The development rights cost $330,000, including $163,800 from the township, $160,000 in federal grant money and the remainder a donation from the Krupp family. That property includes three streams, wetlands and old growth trees.
The deals have been in the works since February 2010 and concluded within the last few weeks, Lonik said.
Overall, the program has protected 1,159 acres on 12 properties in Webster Township, Lonik said. The efforts cost $1.5 million.