Ozark Greenways Land Trust
Ozark Greenways is also a land trust that works with both public and private landowners to conserve the special qualities of their land – for example: farmland, scenic beauty, water quality, wildlife habitat, or to allow for recreation (trail). We are members of the Land Trust Alliance. We have accepted donations of land and hold various easements with conservation and/or recreation goals. We currently have over 1,000 acres in our land trust.
Land and Easement Donations
Some landowners wish to donate property to Ozark Greenways. Some landowners wish to maintain ownership of their property while seeing it preserved (conservation easement) or to allow public access for public recreation use (recreation easement). Both types of donations are voluntary, and we encourage landowners to consult with their financial planner or accountant to choose the best option for their goals and situation. The Ozark Greenways Board of Directors reviews proposed land or easement donations prior to Ozark Greenways accepting the donation and does reserve the right to decline a land or easement donation.
Some easements are very simple and only allow access for a specific purpose, such as a public trail. Some easements are more complex and involve land management plans to protect the natural or ecological features, such as protecting the water quality in a specific watershed. Once land is under easement, it’s our job to make sure that the terms of the easement are kept.
Conservation easements give people the assurance that the places they love will be protected forever in a way that satisfies both the landowners and the region’s goals for land preservation. A conservation easement is a legal agreement that runs with the land, in perpetuity. Landowners can work with their land trust to set easement terms that accommodate their future plans as long as the easement protects important natural and ecological resources on the land. To qualify for tax incentives, all conservation easements must provide significant public benefit. Examples of public benefit include: farmland preservation, wildlife habitat, scenic views, water quality, historic preservation, and outdoor recreation.
By donating a recreation easement to a land trust the landowners make a designated portion of their land available for a public trail for walking, bicycling, and transportation purposes or other recreational purposes without having to subdivide the land or lose ownership and control of the land. This is the most common type of easement used by our organization as it allows for the land to be acquired to complete our planned system of trails. An easement for a trail is typically 30-100 feet wide and the length will vary. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is our partner in the oversight of the recreation easement terms for trails as once a trail is completed in Greene County it becomes a linear park within The Parks’ system, and they are responsible for the ongoing maintenance and management of the trail.
For more information, contact Mary Kromrey, at email@example.com or (417) 864-1941.