MACEDONIA, Ohio — Sally and Philip Meyfarth are making a lasting commitment to land preservation and farming in Macedonia, a community that has seen considerable development in recent years.
Working with the nonprofit Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the Meyfarths have donated a conservation easement on their 18-acre Summit County farm on Shepard Road in Macedonia.
A conservation easement is a legal instrument permanently restricting future development of a property while allowing the donor to retain ownership. It runs with the property.
The 18-acre parcel is what remains from a 160-acre farm owned by the Meyfarth family since the 1940s. The property includes a 1850s Greek revival farmhouse, and language in the agreement provides a level of protection for this structure.
Bill Jordan, associate field director for the Land Conservancy, said in the context of a largely built-out community like Macedonia, the 18 acres preserved is not insignificant.
“In addition to the agricultural areas on the property, the easement also protects natural areas that provide critical bird and wildlife habitat,” Jordan said.
The Land Conservancy, which works to preserve the scenic beauty, rural character and natural resources of northern Ohio, was formed in 2006 by the merger of eight local land trusts.
To date, the Land Conservancy has preserved 421 properties and 28,723 acres. In 2011, the organization helped protect 50 properties encompassing 5,473 acres.