ACRES Land Trust Fund (Designated)

ACRES Land Preserve
Est. 2004
This fund is set up specifically to serve as an added support for environmental / nature preserve.  ACRES Land Preserve is located in Allen County, but has parcels and preserves in Adams County, Indiana.  This fund was established in the Adams County Community Foundation to encourage questions and invite more land owners to consider meeting with them to learn more about the advantages of working with the ACRES Nature Preserve.

Adams County is 80+% farmland and that is a particularly attractive component of life in Adams County.  The wide open spaces and acres of farmland make residing in Adams County a very desirable place to live.  The only way the wide open spaces can be assured is to consider willing a portion or the complete farm to a nonprofit who can assure the land-owner that the land will be used and preserved for the future well-being of the community.  Some families have donated the woods, creek, or low-land, or land that connects to an historical location or facility.  By setting up arrangements for this tax-deductible contribution (at current market value), this may actually allow that a greater amount of inheritance is passed along to the families’ heirs.  Donors are encouraged to consult their financial advisor or the Foundation can provide you with contact information for a financial advisor who could discuss the details of this with you.

One of the most recent contributions with a location in Adams County to the ACRES Land Trust Nature Preserve is the Munro Land parcel located in near Geneva.   ACRES hopes to add land to the preserve in the future, as 20-acres is small for a nature preserve.   The preserve is especially beautiful in the springtime, when there is an impressive display of wildflowers.   The preserve has a loop trail of 0.5 mile.

Indiana is ranked 45th of the 50 states in protecting land in its natural state and for public enjoyment. All of the states surrounding Indiana (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky) have saved 6% or more of their natural areas for the benefit of their citizens. Indiana has protected only 2%.

At this time, ACRES has only one nature preserve in Adams County,  the Munro Nature Preserve located west of Geneva.   The Munro Preserve is 20 acres in size and ACRES hopes to have the preserve eventually dedicated as a state nature preserve.   Located on the very northern edge of the Limberlost Swamp, the Munro Preserve was originally part of a farm owned by Gene Stratton Porter.   The Brushwood Schoolhouse is located at the preserve, which was written about in Girl of the Limberlost.

Mrs. Esther Munro Cooper remembered seeing Gene Stratton-Porter at the Bank of Geneva when she was growing up.  She said that Mrs. Stratton-Porter was always dressed in finery of beautiful lace and gorgeous fabrics.  Mrs. Stratton-Porter would take her horse and buggy from Geneva and drive to Mrs. Snow's house, a friend.  There Mrs. Stratton-Porter would change from her beautiful finery and put on hip wader boots, pants, a work shirt and strap a gun to her belt.  She would then head south into the swamp to take photographs and do nature studies.

One of the oldest land trusts in the country, ACRES was founded in 1960.   The name originally meant Allen County Reserves, but when the first preserve donated was the Edna W. Spurgeon Reserve in Noble County, the name was shortened to an acronym - ACRES.
Dedicated to preserving land in northeast Indiana, ACRES has grown to 57 nature preserves located in 13 counties and protecting more than 4,000 acres.  The majority of ACRES’ nature preserves are dedicated under the Indiana Nature Preserves Act, which give them greater protection under the law.
With more than 1,000 individual, family, and business membership, ACRES offers programs throughout the year for membership and the public.   ACRES goals:
1.  To offer environmental education programs for local schools,
2.  Providing nature preserves for recreation, scientific study, and enjoyment for the public,
3.  Protecting natural areas and the increasing rare plants and animals of northeast Indiana.

If you have any questions regarding land trusts or information about the Adams County Community Foundation in general your call is welcomed at 260.724-3939.