We are a land trust: a nonprofit group that conserves natural areas. We believe that acquiring and protecting forests, farms, meadows, wetlands, and other greenspace is important to retaining the quality of life in southeast Indiana.
Oak Heritage protects land in perpetuity by outright purchase or by accepting donations, bequests or conservation easements. Conservation easements are legal agreements where a landowner retains ownership of a property, but gives up specific rights, usually the right to subdivide and develop, ensuring long-term protection of the land. You can contact us to learn more about protecting your land, or read about conservation right here on our website.
To preserve, protect, and conserve land and water resources that have special natural, agricultural, scenic, or cultural significance. OHC will strive to educate the public about the critical importance of honoring land, water, and local culture. We will help private landowners personally protect their land so future generations can enjoy the rural landscapes of southeastern Indiana.
As landowners and easement holders of over 1,100 acres, Oak Heritage strives to be good stewards. We carry out basic activities such as controlling invasive plants, removing trash, and maintaining boundaries. We also complete natural resource inventories with the help of state and federal experts. These inventories help us understand the needs of each property. Sometimes we plant trees to reestablish forests or build trails to make the property more accessible to the public. Often, we leave properties alone to grow and develop naturally.
History and Future
Oak Heritage formed in 2002, in cooperation with Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D. Since then, we have worked with landowners to conserve over 1,100 acres in southeast Indiana. We were a totally volunteer-run organization for thirteen years. In 2015, we hired our first employee (our Executive Director), and in 2021 we added our second employee (our Education and Outreach Coordinator). We are working hard to increase our conservation and outreach efforts, and we are always looking for volunteers to join in this good work. Please contact us if you want to lend your skills and energy to protecting habitat in southeast Indiana.
Our Board of Directors has crafted three goals for the coming years. Each one is a big, audacious goal that could easily take 30 years to accomplish – and we certainly can’t do them alone. But under each goal, you’ll see clear, tangible things that Oak Heritage Conservancy can do in the coming 3-5 years to help move southeast Indiana in a positive direction. To read all of the goals (and what we can do), click here: Strategic Goals 2021-2024.