Just north of Statesville rests a 324 acre cattle farm owned by Dr. Walter Holland and his wife Edith. The site is near and dear to the Holland family as it is where Walter grew up as a child. Now decades later and having a developed a great personal attachment to the land, Walter and Edie have taken the necessary step to insure the farm will look the same for future generations of children.

By protecting the family farm with a conservation easement, the Hollands have insured its fate. They have insured that the magnificent views of the gently rising Brushy Mountains will forever remain in the farm’s view shed forever. As Interstate 77 traverses the property for nearly one mile, they have insured that 50,000 daily highway travelers will always enjoy the soothing pastoral views, free from billboards, cell towers and other visual pollution.

They have insured that one mile of the South Yadkin River and downstream water quality will always be protected by the securities afforded from a riparian buffer. They have also insured that the farm will forevermore remain free from excessive development and provide the same solace for future area residents.

If this story sounds familiar to you it should. That is because this is the second time the Hollands have placed family lands under the protection of a permanent conservation easement. As you may recall, in 2000 the Holland Family placed the 192 acre Iredell County farm on which they live on easement. Both farms captured the spirit of conservation in the truest sense of the word.

Not only have they been permanently preserved for generations to come, but the Holland family has taken the next step in conservation. With the assistance of their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) representative, both farms have been outfitted with the latest in agricultural conservation technology. From fenced out streams to gravity watering wells, the Holland farm has it all.

NRCS District Conservationist Larry Hendrix remarked, “It truly has been a pleasure to work with the Holland Family in restoring their land to a healthier condition.”

Sitting just six miles above downtown Statesville, the Hollands are very aware of the northward trend of urbanization. “We have huge concerns about greens space and tracts of land staying open,” Edie commented. “If you look around this community, you see a lot of farms being developed.”

Bucking the trend of urban sprawl is something the Hollands rightfully take great pride in. LandTrust executive direction in Iredell County native Jason Walser observed, “The collective lands jointly protected by the Hollands and The LandTrust represents some of the finest land in our ten county region. Breath-taking views,  large strands of old hardwoods serving as outstanding bird and wildlife habitat, miles of major river frontage, and the finest farm soils available make this one of our best protection projects to date.”

The conservation ethic demonstrated by the Holland Family is truly phenomenal. Having made land conservation a family tradition, the Hollands have single handedly protected 516 acres of prime farmland – the new benchmark of private party conservation for Iredell County.

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