Summit County Comes to the Table with Additional Funding to Protect Heritage Amenity

(PARK CITY, Utah) November 7, 2018 – At Wednesday’s Council meeting, after a year of negotiations, Summit County approved a $500,000 grant toward the Summit Land Conservancy’s purchase of a conservation easement to preserve the 158-acre Osguthorpe Farm as open space and a heritage amenity. The $500,000 will support the County’s plans and policies, and the public interest in maintaining the historic and rural character of the area.

“The Summit County Council is pleased to help in saving the Osguthorpe Farm” stated Council Chair, Kim Carson. “We have worked very hard to reach an agreement that will preserve this significant heritage property in the Snydervile Basin.”

For more than a year, the Summit Land Conservancy has been working to preserve the Osguthorpe Farm, a 158-acre agricultural property located in the heart of the Snyderville Basin. The Osguthorpe Farm is recognizable as the large irrigated property on the north side of Old Ranch Road and is visible from Willow Creek Park, the ski resorts, and trails throughout Round Valley. The property is designated as a “Heritage Amenity” in the Snyderville Basin General Plan, and is the last living farm on Old Ranch Road.

“Preserving this farm is the right thing to do. The money provided by Summit County is a giant step toward safeguarding a piece of Park City’s heritage,” says Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director, Cheryl Fox. “Not only does this farm offer tremendous agricultural value to our community, it’s part of the larger ecosystem and green corridor that stretches from Iron Mountain to Round Valley.”

In August 2017, the project received a notable $8.8 million federal grant from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the largest grant ever awarded to farmland conservation in the state of Utah. Since then, the Conservancy has worked diligently on a fundraising campaign to leverage the federal funds, and the family contribution of $3.4 million, through private donations and other grants. So far, more than 500 donors have contributed over $3 million.

The Conservancy still has another $1.8 million to raise before February 2019 when all funds need to be in hand to close on the project. A community fundraising campaign is underway that encourages people to donate 158 dollars; a dollar for every acre of the farm until the end of December. Anyone who donates $158 or more will have an opportunity to win a XC ski pass and ski rental package, generously donated by White Pine Touring. The Conservancy is currently offering a matching grant of $150,000 that doubles every donation to save the farm.

“We hope that our community members will step up and help bring us across the finish line,” said Fox. “So many people have already made gifts. Now we’re starting to see people make second and third donations. That shows how important this farm is to both residents and visitors.”

This project is the tenth working farm the Conservancy has worked to protect within the past thirteen years. It will preserve water quality, agricultural land, scenic views and wildlife habitat. Summit Land Conservancy is currently working to protect another 5,000 acres of ranch land in Summit County.