CALEDONIA, Ill. — Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia, Ill., has purchased the 70-acre Kinnikinnick Fields.
The Learning Center raised more than $500,000 over the last five years to purchase the land through its “Save the 70” campaign.
The partially-wooded 70 acres is adjacent to Angelic Organics Farm on Rockton Road in Boone County and is home to the north branch of the Kinnikinnick Creek, one of the cleanest water sources in the state.
Tom Spaulding, Angelic Organics Learning Center executive director, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to the Save the 70 campaign. Because of their support, this beautiful piece of land will be saved in perpetuity for organic farming, training and education.”
Angelic Organics learning Center will work with a recognized land trust to place the land into a permanent agriculture conservation easement. A portion of the land will be used for the farming operations of Angelic Organics, a 1,500-household member community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Other parts of the land will serve as a home base for the Learning Center’s educational programs, ranging from youth summer camps to beginning farmer training. The Learning Center has eventual plans to build an ecological educational facility on the land.
“Having a permanent land base will allow us to double the number of people we serve through our educational programs — from 25,000 to 50,000 over a 10-year period,” Spaulding said. “We look forward to the exciting new programming the land will allow us to provide.
The first public event on the land will be a Bioblitz, which is scheduled for Sept. 15. A BioBlitz is a participatory community assessment of the biological diversity on a given property, involving scientists and community members. More details and registration will soon be available at www.learngrowconnect.org.
Angelic Organics Learning Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a regional leader helping urban and rural people build local food systems. The Learning Center reaches more than 4,000 people each year through its programs at partner farms and urban growing sites in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
The Learning Center was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit educational partner to Angelic Organics CSA farm. One of the largest CSA farms in the country, Angelic Organics provides more than 1,500 families throughout the region with fresh, biodynamic produce each week. Angelic Organics is featured in the award-winning documentary The Real Dirt on Farmer John.
From the April 25-May 1, 2012, issue