Frequently Asked Questions about the Slab Cabin Run Initiative
1. Why is it so important to conserve the Meyer and Everhart properties?
ClearWater Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust organization, committed to conserving ecologically significant land and water resources in Central Pennsylvania. We make strategic choices guided by objectivity, current science and innovation to determine which projects have the greatest potential for positive impact on our natural resources and community. Conserving the Meyer and Evherhart properties is a high priority project for many reasons, including their close proximity to the Harter-Thomas wells, which provide the majority of drinking water for the State College region.
2. Is development threatening the property?
Yes. These 300 acres are immediately adjacent to the State College Growth Boundary and are likely extensions for growth in the near future. ClearWater Conservancy has a brief opportunity to work alongside willing landowners who want to see their farmland conserved permanently. Once applied, the conservation easement will ensure the land remains as open space forever. The landowners will still own the land and the Meyer Family will still be able to produce milk and ice cream. ClearWater will hold the lands development rights — ensuring the property is conserved in perpetuity.
3. Why must the $2.75 million be raised by September 30, 2017?
The $2.75 million must be raised by September 30 in order to fulfill the legal agreement between ClearWater Conservancy, the Meyer Family and the Everhart Family. The funds will be used to purchase the properties’ development rights and cover any fees associated with this type of transaction.
4. How will the property be conserved forever?
To permanently protect this land and water beneath it, ClearWater Conservancy will place a conservation easement on the property. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently protects natural resources and farmland. Here’s how it will work:
First, ClearWater Conservancy will purchase a conservation easement on both the Everhart and Meyer farms, removing the development rights from these 300 acres. Next, the Meyer family will purchase the Everhart property at its conserved value. All 300 acres is permanently conserved and the Meyer Dairy continues to farm. As a nationally-accredited land trust organization, ClearWater Conservancy has the fortunate opportunity to monitor and maintain the conservation value of this land forever. We work side by the side the landowner to ensure the property meets the rigorous requirements of a conservation easement.
5. Is this effort related to the opposition of the pending development by Toll Brothers?
ClearWater’s Slab Cabin Run Initiative is different from the Toll Brother’s issue. We are working proactively with landowners who have chosen conservation. It is a cooperative effort between private landowners and ClearWater to protect these 300 acres of land at a cost of $2.75 million.
The opposition to the Toll Brothers development is being led by the Nittany Valley Water Coalition, a group of private individuals working together to reverse an agreement between Penn State and Toll Brothers made in 2012 where Penn State agreed to sell 44 acres of land to Toll Brothers for $13.5 million.
ClearWater Conservancy is encouraged by the rigorous community dialogue around drinking water protection. Clean, healthy and abundant drinking water is a vital ingredient for any community. However, we are not a part of the Nittany Valley Water Coalition and our approaches to protect land are very different.
6. The Slab Cabin Run Initiative is important to me. How can I help it succeed?
Whether you live in Centre County, downstream of Slab Cabin Run, or simply love visiting Central PA, we all have a connection to this project . Your donation gets us one step closer to its success. Many have donated because they understand that we’re all responsible for protecting our drinking water supply. Others have donated because they understand that a healthy ecosystem demands healthy water variety of plants and wildlife can thrive. Some love driving or walking by the gorgeous landscape and want to be sure it always looks that way. And just last month we received $350 from the State College Friends School students who simply want to make sure the property remains a ‘forever farm’ so they can always enjoy ice cream at Meyer Dairy. Your donation today will give these students the chance to take their children and their grandchildren to Meyer Dairy.
7. I have more questions about the project. Who can I contact?
Please contact ClearWater Conservancy’s executive director, Deb Nardone to discuss the Slab Cabin Run Initiative in more detail: 814-237-0400 x 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to speaking with you about this important project. Thank You!