State Route 321 • Elbridge, NY 13060
Launching an endeavor on the scale of Limeledge requires extensive planning and preparation long before shovels are put in the ground. In recent years, the property on which Limeledge resides had fallen into a state of neglect; even worse, it was known locally as a place where dumping of garbage, construction debris, and other materials could occur with little or no consequences. Many of the neighbors knew it as a vector for trespassers onto their own land, especially during hunting season. Once a functional farm of over 200 acres with a beautiful home constructed in the 1800s and two barns, the house was destroyed in a tragic fire and the barns had fallen into a state of disrepair. In many ways, our beloved family farm had become a blighted property.
During the spring and summer of 2021, the ideas for what would become Limeledge arose from conversations between myself and my grandmother, who had spent most of her life in the house on the property before the fire. Both of us were eager to begin turning things around on the family farm, but were unsure how to marshal the resources to do so. We needed a plan.
On August 29, 2021, I presented a proposal to my grandmother and the trustees that administer the irrevocable trust that owns the property. During my presentation, I provided a detailed plan to begin transitioning the farm into a botanical garden and arboretum that would serve not just as a cornerstone of the community, but in time could grow into a renowned plant collection and ecopark with the potential to draw visitors from well beyond Central New York. Founding a nonprofit organization to execute this plan would also provide funding opportunities to begin rehabilitating the property and its infrastructure. The trustees voted in favor of this plan, and the preparations for what would become Limeledge began in earnest.
With this directive from the owner, I began working on a plan and layout for the living collections, acquiring the plants themselves, recruiting a professional board to administer the nonprofit, designing logos and art, communicating with potential donors, and preparing for work on the site itself. To formalize the agreement, I signed a lease with the owner to begin activities on the property, and by the end of the season had cleared about 5-acres of invasive species in an abandoned field and installed the first 40 plants. Working with our board members, we drafted a charter, constitution, and In September 2022 submitted the documentation to establish Limeledge as an educational nonprofit institution with 501(c)(3) status.
Three-year plan for establishing Limeledge:
2022 Begin installing the living collections in the Cook Lot area; prep the former house area for installation of orchard and permaculture / production areas; install pollinator garden near the beehives.
2023 Install orchard; install informational kiosks; open trail system to the public by appointment; begin barn work.
2024 Host events at the barns if work is complete; educational tours and workshops on the land.
Please join us as we take the next step in rehabilitating this beautiful property and making it something that the entire CNY community will be proud of.
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