Between 250 and 300 people descended on APU’s Spring Creek Farm on Kellogg Campus on Thursday, July 26th to celebrate the preservation of 74 acres of Alaska’s essential farmland.
Preserving the land, Kellogg Campus Manager Melissa Himes said, is particularly important in
“When farmland is taken over for housing development and other non-agricultural purposes, we lose our ability to grow food, and our ability to have sustainable food production,” Himes explained.The land trust was made possible in a joint partnership with the Great Land Trust, as well as Alaska Farmland Trust, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services, and the DeWolf-Kellogg Trust, with APU as the sole beneficiary.
The Great Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving local lands and waters so that ecosystems stay robust, organized the celebration, bringing in live music from High Lonesome Sound, food for purchase, free beer, and activities for families, including a petting
The original founder of the farm, Louise Kellogg, started buying farmland in the early 1950s, eventually amassing the more than 800 acres it covers today. In 1974, the Dewolf-Kellogg Trust was formed with a donation from Louise with the stipulation that APU may manage the land provided some of it be used for educational purposes. Currently, Spring Creek Farm on Kellogg Campus houses APU’s Outdoor and Environmental Education Program, which encompasses farmer training and farm education programs, produces food through Community Support Agriculture, and supplies a farm stand on APU’s
While the easement won’t change much of the day-to-day on the farm, Himes said, “It’s vital that the rich agricultural soils in Alaska are preserved for agricultural use, and the agricultural easement is a great way to ensure this.”