The current generation landowner opted out of the CRP contract to explore a broader vision of a conservation-agriculture partnership with the land while transitioning from 27 years in CRP to regenerative practices and a nature preserve to include ecotourism. This project area totals 80 acres, and is comprised primarily of crop land, riparian corridor, tree plantations, and 2-acre wetland. The crop land represents about 75% of the land area and is used primarily for the production and harvest of annual or perennial field, forage, food, fiber, horticultural, orchard, vineyard, or energy crops.
In the crop land areas, the major goals and objectives are to 1) generate revenue through the establishment of a cover crop, pollinator, and native plant nursery; while 2) maximizing soil health and soil carbon sequestration by managing native and perennial vegetation year round with minimal land disturbance and chemical application; and 3) reviving the local community through partnerships with local organizations, funded research, and creation of jobs through educational-art classes, native seed and plant sales, eco-tourism. In the Riparian areas, the objectives are to establish a nature preserve and a riparian birding trail and outdoor recreation opportunities, while removing invasive species and replanting with native species. The existing hardwood management zone will be expanded to 7 acres and supplementally planted with high value seed and nut trees that will be used as a revenue source. Objectives in the wetland area are to increase the wetland and buffer area, create walking trail and a wetland education area and establish a long-term wetland research site and wetland plant nursery.
Challenges and Opportunities
Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including: