WHAT IS THE OPEN SPACE ALLIANCE (OSA)?
The Open Space Alliance is a campaign created by The Greater Lewes Foundation and Sussex County Land Trust looking to preserve two local properties – the Fourth Street and Ard na Gréine preserves – totaling 120 acres.
HOW WILL THE TWO PROPERTIES BE USED FOR PUBLIC BENEFIT?
Both tracts of land will be made available to the public for “passive recreation” – that is, walking trails, areas to relax or have a family picnic, and scattered benches. Apart from benches and signage, there will be no built structures on either site.
HOW WILL THE PROPERTIES BE PROTECTED FROM FUTURE DEVELOPMENT?
By creating a conservation easement for the properties, landowners can assure that the property will be protected forever regardless of any future sale to another owner. More information on conservation easements can be found here.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE PUBLIC USE OF BOTH PROPERTIES?
For the 4th Street tract, we envision a series of walking paths and open greens for people to enjoy. There will be no built structures.
For Ard na Griene, initial plans include several large meadows with plantings designed to support the natural environment and habitat; tree reforestation; walking paths and village greens, and potential access for kayaks and canoes to Canary Creek.
Master plans and conceptual drawings are now being developed for both properties.
WHO WILL MAINTAIN THE PROPERTIES?
The Sussex County Land Trust will own and maintain Ard na Griene, including annual plantings, path maintenance, and weed control and spraying.
We envision the City of Lewes assuming ownership from Greater Lewes Foundation and taking responsibility for path maintenance, tree, and limb clearing, spraying, and water control issues.
WILL THIS INITIATIVE BE SUCCESSFUL?
More than two years of planning has been put into the campaign by both the GLF and SCLT, each of which has had significant long-term success raising millions of dollars for Lewes-area projects over the past two decades.
WHAT TYPES OF DONATIONS ARE YOU ACCEPTING?
We will be honored to receive your gifts of cash by check or EFT, which can be pledged over up to three years. Donations of the following are also appreciated:
- Securities, which can be processed through our brokerage, Lokken & Associates in Lewes. DE
- Annual IRA distributions
- Gifts from a charitable fund or trust you may maintain
- Donations of property and other higher-valued items which can be readily sold
All donations are, of course, fully tax-deductible upon the date of their receipt. Contact us any time at (phone, web, email info). Gifts will be processed through either the SCLT (EIIN#) or GLF (EIN#)
ARE THERE DONOR RECOGNITION OPPORTUNITIES?
Yes, all donors, if they wish, will be listed by category of giving on our campaign website, in full-page advertising, in signage, and in the program at our campaign closing ceremony. Donor information will also be permanently etched on a campaign landmark that is now being designed.
HOW CAN I HELP IN ADDITION TO DONATING
We hope to extend an opportunity to participate to every resident and property owner in and around Lewes. With more than 8,000 people to reach in just 18 months, your help with any of the following would be greatly appreciated:
- Host a gathering for us at your home or business to meet others you know who have the capacity and interest in land preservation. Email Pam Costanzi at email@example.com for more information.
- Consider sponsoring a fundraising event of your own among friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
- Refer us to private foundations, trust funds, and generous businesses that you believe would support the campaign.
- Create a matching gift challenge for your neighbors by gathering a large number of smaller commitments to make up the challenge amount.
WHAT IF THE TOTAL NEEDED HASN’T BEEN RAISED BY 12/31/24?
There are two options should something unexpected occur to delay the project:
- Both sellers have already agreed to extend the term of their agreements by 6-12 months if necessary.
- We anticipate being able to reduce the acreage being purchased on both properties if that becomes necessary.
Some $1.5 million in additional funding to the purchase price is being raised through the campaign to create endowments for the costs of managing both properties.