NORMAN â€” The Norman Area Land Conservancy is a nonprofit group of residents who seek to preserve and protect open space from urbanization.
â€œIf you cover everything with concrete, you hurt the environment and cause flooding,â€ said Lynne Miller Stuart, past group president.
The conservancy group's job is to educate people about the value of open space and provide assistance to property owners who voluntarily put their land into easements, which are legal documents that spell out restrictions on how the land is used, Stuart said.
Owners retain the title to the land and can continue to use it for farming, forestry, recreation or whatever else has been agreed upon. In exchange, the owners get property tax breaks and ensure that the land will look largely the same for generations to come, she said.
The 100-acre Kuhlman farm in north Norman was directly in the path of expanding housing developments in 2002 when family members sought help from the Norman Area Land Conservancy.