by Spencer Busler, Assistant Director
On the foot of Grindstone, a stand of mature white oaks and towering sugar maples creates a dense canopy that shades the forest floor below. Grey squirrels and chipmunks chatter as the leaves rustle and the warblers whistle melodies with the summer breeze. Situated between TILT’s Heineman Songbird Forest Preserve, a prolific emergent wetland, and the Picton Channel, this undeveloped landscape teems with wildlife no matter the season. And because of the generosity and conservation ethic of the Deedy family, this scene will remain unaltered in perpetuity.
Ken Deedy, one of TILT’s founders, along with his nephew, Matthew M. Deedy, donated a conservation easement on their Grindstone property in June. The easement, which protects nearly 26 of their 31-acre property, was implemented to limit subdivision, development, mining and other major disturbances to the land’s sensitive ecological and aesthetic qualities. The easement-protected forests, granitic outcrops and undeveloped shorelines provide habitat for countless species of native flora and fauna, and contribute to the region’s unparalleled scenic beauty.
Even after Ken’s passing, his legacy lives with the land and his family. To this day, his impact continues to take effect. The donation of the Deedy Conservation Easement has spurred conversations of easement projects with other nearby landowners, helping to build upon TILT’s landscape-scale conservation corridor and to strengthen the overall resiliency of the Thousand Islands region.
Notably, the value of the Deedy easement will also be used as match toward TILT’s current water quality grant application, meaning that the donation of this single conservation easement will domino into a series of land protection projects along the shores of the St. Lawrence.