It’s official: Green Button Farm in Durham County is permanently conserved, thanks to a conservation easement with Triangle Land Conservancy!
Green Button Farm is a 37-acre sustainable family farm in northern Durham County providing chemical-free produce, pastured chickens, pork, beef, and eggs to local households and restaurants.
Owners Ryan and Alicia Butler first approached TLC through the Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District seeking a Forest Stewardship Plan and helping implement conservation practices on their farm. Soon after, the couple started exploring a conservation easement as a way to permanently protect the property and potentially raise some seed money. “We have been trying to save money to conserve more land, and it’s wonderful that TLC has been able to help our smaller farm do that,” said Alicia Butler.
Green Button Farm is located along Mountain Creek, a tributary of the Little River which flows into Falls Lake, a drinking water source for the City of Raleigh. The Little River provides high-quality habitat for several species of rare or threatened mollusks.
The conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between the Butlers and TLC that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values, including supporting local agriculture and protecting water quality. The Butlers retain their right to own and use the land, sell it and pass it on to their heirs, while TLC is responsible for making sure the easement’s terms are upheld in perpetuity.
“The Butler’s hard work and commitment to conservation will further safeguard clean drinking water for over a million and a half people in the Triangle,” explained TLC Executive Director Sandy Sweitzer. “Conserving land now helps ensure we maintain the natural resources as the Region grows that make it a great place to live, work, and play.”
Green Button Farm proteins and produce can be purchased weekly at the South Durham Farmers’ Market or through the farm’s own CSA program. The farm will also help supply the new Picnic restaurant opening in Durham this year.
The conservation easement was signed in late December, but we made the news official with an article in yesterday’s Durham Herald-Sun. The report did a great job of highlighting why the Butler family chose to conserve the farm as well as what makes it unique both in terms of its conservation values and link to the local food scene (have you checked out Picnic restaurant yet?). Laura Whaling, TLC’s summer communications intern, also wrote a great article about Green Button Farm for the fall 2015 issue of Conservation Connections.