J.D. Long gets help from Everett and Elizabeth picking strawberries. The family grew strawberries for many years.

Groups work to secure a conservation easement

The Protect the Long Family Farm collaborative is working with the City of Boulder to secure a conservation easement to permanently restrict development on the Long Family Farm which serves 45,000 community members each year.

Growing Gardens, Long’s Gardens, the Conservation Fund, Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, and Friend’s of Long’s Gardens will host an open house on Wednesday, June 19, from 5:30 to 7 pm in its barn (1630 Hawthorn Ave. Boulder).

The open house will feature an overview of the Protect the Long Family Farm project as well as a Q&A. All interested community members are invited to join.

The 25-acre farm is home to Long’s Gardens, Growing Gardens, and fellow nonprofit Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, who together serve over 45,000 people each year. These groups, along with Friends of Long’s Garden and The Conservation Fund, have formed a collaborative effort to protect these 25 acres of farmland through a conservation easement.

Community members who currently benefit from the use of this land include over 8,000 school children each year that attend summer camp on the farm and who visit through school programs to learn about the garden, nutrition education, and animal husbandry, as well as community gardeners and gardeners, commuters that utilize the bike corridor that bisects the property (which is held by the city on a revocable license), and the 17,500+ annual recipients of produce, plant start and seed donations, among many others.

Many people mistakenly assume that these 25 acres are either public land or preserved in some way. This is not correct.

The Long family has owned and operated this land for over a century and is committed to preserving it as urban farmland forever by placing a conservation easement on the property. The land would remain in private ownership but would have permanent restrictions so it could never be subdivided or developed, benefiting the public through the preservation of open land, agriculture and natural resources.

The Protect the Long Family Farm collaborative wants the City of Boulder, in collaboration with others who care about the land, to finalize a conservation easement agreement with the Long family by the end of 2019. This will require both financial resources and political will.

For more information, please visit growinggardens.org/protect and come to the Growing Gardens open house on June 19.