Edna Spurgeon Woodland Reserve in autumn

Posted by: Elijah Stewart

  • 12/12/2023

Making a Long-Term Commitment

If you look in the most recent issue of our Quarterly, you’ll find the names of 50 people who joined ACRES in the past three months. To you who are listed — welcome to ACRES, and thanks for protecting land!

On this same page, you’ll find four people who joined ACRES 50 years ago — and have faithfully renewed year after year. These members joined in 1973 when a gallon of gas was 40 cents, a gallon of milk, $1.31, and an ACRES membership, $2.

50 Years of Commitment

Fifty years is a long-term commitment. Why do people stay long-term members of ACRES? For most, it comes down to relationships. On our website’s “Your Stories” section, Angie O’Neill, one of our 50-year members, describes the many relationships that motivate her to remain a member.

Some of the relationships Angie fosters through ACRES include her relationship with the land itself: “it feeds my soul”; her relationship with other ACRES members: “they tend to be my deepest friendships”; her relationship with God: “it’s my job to steward His amazing creation”; her relationship with those she doesn’t know: “I want to leave a legacy, I want kids to have places to experience nature”; and her relationship with herself: “nature feeds my curiosity, my need for adventure and discovery.”

Core Beliefs

One of ACRES best services is providing the opportunity to demonstrate our core beliefs in ways we can’t on our own. Core beliefs don’t tend to change over decades, so it makes sense that when you find an organization in line with who you are, you remain connected for a long time. It’s so important that many of us commit to doing it our whole lives — and beyond, through our planned giving and by inspiring the next generation to carry on the work.

A Lasting Legacy

I was born in 1973. (Angie was filling ACRES membership role while I was filling diapers!) Angie and others supported the organization before I was able to. And after we are unable, others will support ACRES.

I’m inspired that ACRES has members who joined 50 years ago, and others, just five days ago. Forever requires the stability provided by long-term members, along with the continuing support of new members. Whether you are five days or 50 years into supporting ACRES — thank you. We can’t do this without you!

Jason Kissel
Executive Director