Preserving land through acquisitions and easements is one element of land conservation. Stewardship of that land is another important element, one that encompasses a longer span of time - perpetuity. The Gates Mills Land Conservancy is committed to protecting lands that have been entrusted in its care, and have a stewardship program in place to monitor and enforce terms specified in easement contracts. It is the responsibility of the Conservancy to be a good steward of the protected land, and maintain it in its natural state.
Good stewardship begins with baseline documentation for each easement. Documentation includes a map of the property when the easement was put into place and describes the conservation values that were protected by the easement, and relative conditions that are necessary to be monitored and enforced by the easement. Properties are monitored on a regular basis, at least annually, to ensure adherence to the terms of the easement. Reports are completed for each of the site visits, and violations are resolved as needed. Good relationships with property owners are maintained to ensure understanding of and adherence to the terms of the easement.
An adequate fund is critical to carrying out stewardship responsibilities. Conservancies determine the stewardship and enforcement expenses necessary to fulfill their duties as land stewards. The Gates Mills Land Conservancy has a stewardship fund dedicated to the purpose of covering current and future expenses which may include ordinary maintenance such as repairing fences, maintaining trails, eradicating invasive species, and also legal defense and enforcement of an easement when necessary.
Primary funding for stewardship is secured through membership dues and the generous gifts and donations from supporters of land conservation and of the Gates Mills Land Conservancy.
Help us be good stewards of the land by getting involved.