The meaning of FOREVER: Sycamore’s first 25 years
“Every founder will tell you it has succeeded beyond their dreams.” – Tom Zeller, one of Sycamore’s founders
When Sycamore Land Trust got its start 25 years ago, its founders hardly envisioned it reaching such great heights.
For the first 10 years, the land trust relied entirely on volunteers, who worked hard to both protect land and develop Sycamore’s philosophical foundation as a positive, practical, non-political organization.
By now, the people who’ve supported Sycamore over the years have created a major impact: more than 8,300 acres permanently protected, and tens of thousands of students and adults impacted by Sycamore’s Environmental Education Program. You can see and feel the impact:
- Beautiful hardwood forests, diverse wetlands, and family farms protected forever
- Scenic spots you can seek out for a quiet stroll, teaching your children about nature, birdwatching—an overall restoration of spirit
- Optimism that future generations are connecting with nature
Twenty-five years is significant in the life of a nonprofit created by passionate local citizens, nurtured by volunteers for the first 10 years of its life, and reliant upon the goodwill of private donors for its lifeblood.
But 25 years is insignificant in the time scale of our natural world and human history. We stand on bedrock that contains fossils of an ancient sea, canoe on rivers that settlers traversed hundreds of years before us, watch majestic bald eagles successfully raise young again, and walk in awe amongst pockets of old-growth trees.
The land that Sycamore has protected in its first 25 years is a true legacy for future generations. The children that run along the boardwalk at Beanblossom Bottoms can watch the preserve grow up as they do. The trees on Sycamore preserves will grow larger and more magnificent, like the 200-year-old, 15-foot wide Sycamore tree photographed in the Wabash River Valley in the early 1800s. Because how do you get a tree 15 feet wide and 200 years old? You take a sapling 15 millimeters across, and you protect it. That’s the unique value of Sycamore Land Trust.
Forever is a long time. Supporters of Sycamore Land Trust have the special pleasure of knowing their contribution has already made a lasting impact. As this movement grows, just think how many acres will be added to the public trust, how many children will have life-shaping experiences in nature.