Western New York Land Conservancy
The Western New York Land Conservancy’s next big initiative is the Stella Niagara Preserve, an ecologically and culturally important property with 1,400 feet of frontage on the Niagara River. Photo by Mortmer/flickr.com
Near the Lake Erie shore, the community of Eden boasts some of New York state’s most fertile soil. That’s why family-owned vegetable and dairy farms and plant nurseries dot the rural landscape. Conserving this farming heritage has been a goal of the Western New York Land Conservancy for more than two decades.
Dairy farmers Bob and Bill Feasley recently added a poignant chapter to this legacy. The family worked its 103-acre dairy farm for more than 40 years, and both Feasley brothers were passionate about farm conservation. Just before Bob passed away, he and Bill were able to work with the Conservancy to place a conservation easement on their property. The Conservation Fund provided a bridge loan to help make it happen.
Bob Feasley died in March, 2013. In describing his brother’s legacy, Bill Feasley says, “Many times, I have thought that it would be wonderful for a farmer, a hundred years from now, to use and appreciate [the farm] as we have.” Thanks to the Feasleys, that suddenly seems possible.
“Brothers Bob and Bill Feasley served this community for many years, and this was their last chance to protect the farmland they loved. But it had to happen very quickly. An attorney on our board did pro bono legal work to get the loan paperwork approved, and The Conservation Fund took just a week to approve the loan. The Fund was a critical partner in helping us honor the commitment Bob, Bill, and their family had made.” — Nancy Smith Executive Director