By Jason Kissel
A land donor recently handed me a box of documents related to their family’s land now owned by ACRES: photos, handwritten deed records from the 1800s, crop history, and other treasures. With box in hand, I was humbled, aware that ACRES is responsible for safeguarding not only the family’s land, but also their memories of this place.
While this sense of responsibility is not new, the box’s label, “PERISHABLE,” provided a new perspective. ACRES preserves land forever. And ACRES also preserves, for as long as possible, things related to the land, such as this box of memorabilia. But perishable items eventually perish, which led me to realize that ACRES protects much more that is perishable than is permanent.
For example, a forest. While the land itself may not change too much for tens of thousands of years, and a forest system may remain intact for thousands of years, individual trees will live only a few hundred years, perennials a few decades, and annuals (as their name indicates), one year. Forest animals live from over 100 years to just a few days.
During the course of “forever,” the lands ACRES protects and preserves will sustain countless generations of perishable plant and animal lives. Millions of human memories will be made, some captured, but most perishing with their originator. The fragile, fleeting treasure of life itself relies on a constant to sustain us—the land.
I’m glad we as ACRES members invest in land through ACRES. I’m glad for the land and for all the other perishables, including you and me, that benefit during our brief participation in forever.