Letters: Readers urge residents to save Osguthorpe Farm
Make saving farm a reality
It’s tragic to see something extraordinary become ordinary. That could be the fate for the gorgeous swath of land in the midst of Park City’s Snyderville Basin that is the historic Osguthorpe Farm unless $513,000 is raised by the end of this month. It’s a task that’s achievable if everyone who’s able decides to act now and donate to the Summit Land Conservancy at wesaveland.org.
If these funds aren’t raised by the end of the month, Summit Land Conservancy will lose more than $8 million in federal funding and thereby lose the means to secure the 158-acre Osguthorpe Farm through a conservation easement that will permanently protect the farm. We will all lose the chance to protect this iconic ode to the farming history of Park City and its original open spaces and will have to stand by as developers pave paradise.
With numerous large scale developments already slated for the Basin, the beauty and serenity of open space is more important than ever. Open spaces are critical for the wellbeing of wildlife as well. If the Osguthorpe Farm is saved, today’s residents and visitors along with those of future generations will look at this action as wise and forward thinking. They will forever be thankful for the commitment each of us made to save this land.
Please donate today. Help make saving the Osguthorpe Farm a reality and preserve the essence of Park City, the beauty and history that make Park City loved and renowned.
They ain’t making any more
It was Will Rogers who famously said, “Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.” With respect, I’d like to amend Mr. Rogers’ words to read, “Save land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.”
And the land I’m referring to, specifically, is the working farm — the “last real farm” — in the Synderville Basin. The farm’s 158 green acres sit along the stretch of Old Ranch Road between Willow Creek Park to the west and Round Valley to the east.
There once were 26 farms in the Basin. Today, the Osguthorpe family grows alfalfa and oats on this last farm. The grain is fed to the family’s sheep — whose wool is used to make military dress uniforms — and to horse owners.
The Summit Land Conservancy is pulling out all stops to raise the last $535,000 needed to purchase a conservation easement on the farm, protecting it forever. The fundraising deadline is March 31.
To date, the federal government has allocated $8.8 million towards purchase of the easement, the largest grant ever made for farmland conservation in Utah. The Osguthorpes have done their share, shaving $4 million off the purchase price. More than 900 individuals have generously contributed more than $4 million.
The Park City community has long prided itself on preserving meaningful open lands — places like the McPolin Farm and Hi-Ute Ranch — as last vestiges of our area’s farming and ranching heritage. They are now integral parts of our community. Who can imagine driving down S.R. 224 and not seeing the arresting “big, white barn?”
The Osguthorpe Farm is well worth adding to the list.
This is make-or-break time in the Summit Land Conservancy’s dedicated efforts to save the farm. They have shaken every bush, overturned every stone. There is no white-hat hero waiting to gallop in and save the day. It is up to each of us.
At this stage, every dollar matters. You can donate online at the Conservancy’s website, http://www.wesaveland.org.
Last call for farm
Urgent, last call. End of month $8.8 million federal grant is lost and Summit Land Conservancy has said there can be no further extensions. $400,000 needs to be raised. We are 2 percent short to save Osguthorpe Farm. Family does not want to see house farms. They have been instrumental in preserving their properties including our iconic White Barn on S.R. 224. Please help them now, the Sandhill Cranes who gather there and our community as a whole for future generations. Any amount counts. Spread the word by social media or any means. If 4,000 people gave $100, or an amazing 400 people each gave $1,000, we’d make it. It is a lot, but there is still hope if we all come together.
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“History buffs will tell you that Park City suffered many devastating fires fanned by canyon winds,” writes Andrea Barros. “It could happen again if we do not reduce wildfire fuel.”