Snyderville Basin’s “Green Heart” will be spared from development. The Summit Land Conservancy completed its fundraising campaign over the past weekend by raising the final $375,000 to secure a conservation easement for the 158-acre Osguthorpe Farm on Old Ranch Road. The farm represents the last major tract of undeveloped land in the center of the basin and ensures views of the surrounding mountain peaks will be preserved into the future.
The final fundraising push was the culmination of a two-year effort to save one of Park City’s last working farms ahead of the March 31 deadline to leverage federal funding towards the conservation effort. In 2017, the land trust entered into an agreement with the Osguthorpe family to purchase a conservation easement for $17,856,000. $8.8 million came from a federal grant as part of a Farm Bill program, $500,000 came from a Summit County grant, and the Osguthorpe family contributed $3.9 million towards the cause, which lets them retain rights to the house currently on the property. The easement prevents any future development on the property and allows the farm to remain operational.
The final $4.5 million came from more than 1,100 individual donors, which included many Park City residents and second home owners. As with the recent approval of a $48 million bond to preserve Treasure Hill and the $38 million bond to acquire Bonanza Flats in 2017, Parkites have shown quite the appetite for footing the bill when it comes to preserving open space and public land.
As the deal came down to the wire, the community rallied in the name of conservation. A group of Old Ranch Road residents calling themselves “Defenders of the Ranch” helped raise awareness about the land deal, and a large donation from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation in addition to a challenge grant from the Willow Creek homeowners’ association helped drive fundraising efforts across the finish line.
Another slice of Park City is protected from the endless march of development, and once again it’s largely thanks to the efforts and contributions of residents.
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