Hartville farm gives easement to nature center

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HARTVILLE, Ohio – Thomas and Margaret Raff Hague of Canton have donated the development rights from their 100-acre farm in Lake Township to The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio.

The farm, located near the intersection of State Street and Market Avenue, has been in the Raff family for three generations.

Watched sprawl.

“Our family strongly felt that we wanted the land to remain as a farm or open space,” said Margaret Raff Hague. “Over the years, we have witnessed much of the surrounding area undergo development.”

Under the conservation easement agreement, the Hagues transferred the right to develop the land to The Wilderness Center. The Wilderness Center is obligated to see the land remains as open space or in agriculture in perpetuity.

Under the terms of the easement, the Raff-Hague family retains ownership of the land. The land is not open to the public.

“Over the last several years, The Wilderness Center has quietly expanded its mission to include land trust work,” said Gordon Maupin, executive director of the nonprofit nature center and land trust.

Third donation.

This is the third conservation easement to be donated to The Wilderness Center, according to Tim Schetter, land stewardship director for the center.

The first easement, donated Dec. 30, 1996, is on a 260-acre Columbiana County farm near New Waterford in Unity Township.

The Wilderness Center received a conservation easement on a 100-acre farm in Sugar Creek Township in Stark County last September.

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