(Left to Right) Partners in the "200 Acres for 200 Years" Greenspace Acquisition Campaign - Mayor of Edwardsville, Hal Patton; Mary Vandevord, president/CEO of the Heartlands Conservancy, and Edwardsville Alderman SJ Morrison.

EDWARDSVILLE –The City of Edwardsville announced today a new opportunity for area residents to play a role in preserving the community’s greenspace with a donation of land. The “200 Acres for 200 Years” campaign has the goal of preserving donated acreage for future generations to enjoy in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the City of Edwardsville and the State of Illinois.

“200 Acres for 200 Years” is accepting donations of greenspace in any form whether urban or rural, wooded or cleared. With 200 years of rich history and significant growth surrounded by natural beauty and scenery, Edwardsville is committed to preserving the natural elements as the city continues to grow. Mayor Hal Patton and Alderman SJ Morrison are spearheading the effort along with the assistance of HeartLands Conservancy and Edwardsville Community Foundation.

HeartLands Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust that handles the donation and sale of land for conservation purposes. This organization will work with the legalities and tax considerations for the land donations. Additionally, it will advise city officials on the best use for the land space whether it be converted into park space, left as general use green space or left untouched as a nature preserve for wildlife.

Edwardsville Community Foundation is a 501c-3 foundation that accepts gifts of cash or trust contributions for scholarships and special community projects. Tax-deductible gifts to the foundation for “200 acres for 200 years” will be used by the City to acquire tracts of greenspace in high growth corridors and preserve them for the future.

“The secret is out…Edwardsville is a great place to live and to own a business. While we appreciate the quality growth that we are experiencing, it is important for us to preserve the charm and character of our community. Every child should have woods to play in and creek to get muddy,” shared Mayor Patton.

Alderman Morrison said, “The best way to commemorate 200 years is to give a gift that will make an impact for another 200,” said Alderman Morrison. "I grew up enjoying Edwardsville’s natural surroundings and preserving green space in and around our community will ensure that future generations have the same opportunity.”

Anyone interested in giving the gift of land for generations to enjoy should contact the Mayor’s office at (618) 692-7531. The gift will be honored and cherished by the entire community for generations to come. There is no greater gift than land that will provide happiness, inspiration and educational experiences for your current neighbors and friends as well as those of the future. Donors have the unique opportunity to give a gift that will continue to impact Edwardsville year after year.

The City of Edwardsville is a flourishing community in the St. Louis Metro East region. The city is the third oldest city in Illinois. Edwardsville has been ranked the best city in Illinois for young families. To learn more, visit http://www.cityofedwardsville.com/ or call (618) 692-7350.

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