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E-M:/ Nature, family, and love of the land: Ludwigs protect land with Land Trust

Enviro-Mich message from "Info" <info@washtenawlandtrust.org>

Some good news for a Friday....  cheers,  -Suzie

PRESS RELEASE: Father & Daughter Protect Land with Washtenaw Land Trust:
Ludwig family protects lands totaling 167 acres (Ann Arbor, Freedom
Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan)

    Bob Ludwig and his daughter, Connie Ludwig, have protected their Freedom
Township lands, totaling 167 acres, by donating a conservation agreement to
the Washtenaw Land Trust.
    Rural living is nothing new for Bob Ludwig.  He grew up in a small
Indiana town where his grandparents had a farm.  From the time he was old
enough to reach the pedals, he was working there and became a self-described
?country boy.? He bought this property on Bethel Church Road in 1968, and he
rents the land to a local farmer to be farmed.  In the early 1990s, Bob gave
half the property to his daughter Connie, who now calls this land home.  
    Bob said he?s glad that both of them have protected what has become, for
each of them, a truly treasured landscape.  He is on the land every day,
enjoying the quiet, rolling hills and shady woodlands. 
    ?This is such a lovely property, and by protecting it forever, the
Ludwigs have given a great gift to the whole community,? said Charity
Steere, chair of the Land Trust?s Land Protection Committee. 
     ?Every day is a great day when I can go out there,? said Bob.  

     ?And to know that this will keep it that way, after you?re not around?
You know, I was surprised today. I?ve never really had a feeling that
something was different or unusual.  But after signing the papers yesterday
and going out there today, I had a warm, cozy feeling about that.?

     ?After I?m gone, I know that others will enjoy the land as I have.?

     Like her dad, Connie is also excited that the project is finalized. 

     ?I protected it because this is what I wanted for the land in my heart,
and the Washtenaw Land Trust provided a way to make it possible,? said

     ?It makes you smile inside to look at the property you love and know
that its natural beauty will be preserved forever.?

     The conservation agreement, also known as a conservation easement, is a
legal agreement that places restrictions on the future development of the
property.  Under the terms of the agreement, the land can continue to be
farmed, and it can be sold or passed on to others, but the land can never be

     With the donation of the conservation agreement, the property value of
the land decreases because of the restrictions on future development. 
However, this is offset in part by federal income tax deductions that are
available to property owners who donate such an agreement.  The loss in land
value is considered a donation to the nonprofit Land Trust.  The Land Trust,
in turn, takes on the responsibility of making sure the land stays

About the Washtenaw Land Trust
        The first land trust incorporated in Michigan, Washtenaw Land Trust
is a private non-profit that protects ? forever ? the natural areas and
working farms that make our community a great place to live. To date, this
growing organization has protected 58 properties totaling 3,330 acres
throughout Washtenaw, Jackson, and Ingham counties, through voluntary land
conservation.  With the Ludwig lands, the Land Trust has protected 799 acres
in 2007. For more information, visit www.washtenawlandtrust.org, or contact
info@washtenawlandtrust.org or 734-302-LAND (5263).
Photos of the protected site are available upon

Contact: Susan Lackey, Executive Director
          Washtenaw Land Trust
          1100 N. Main St. #203, Ann Arbor, MI  48104
          Office:   734-302-5263.  Cell: 734-649-3119


Suzanne Heiney 
Washtenaw Land Trust
1100 N. Main St. #203
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
734-302-LAND (5263)
"The land is forever. The opportunity is now."

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