Cliff Chapman and Santa Claus at closing

Claus Family Puts Storied Property Under CILTI Care


Sugarplum fields, reindeer play areas to be protected forever

The Claus family has put approximately 2.6 billion acres of ice cap under the care of the Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc. (CILTI) through a conservation easement that protects the property while allowing the family to continue its toy-production operations there.

Impressed by CILTI’s management of thousands of acres of Indiana’s natural heritage, the Claus family wanted to ensure that similar care would be given to its property in perpetuity.

“I’ve got enough on my mind without worrying that one of my descendants might one day decide to sell off our North Pole real estate to relocate to a warmer climate,” said Santa Claus, family patriarch and founder of Claus Enterprises. “Now I can focus on our merry manufacturing and logistics operations … and enjoy a pretty nice tax benefit to boot!”

Claus said the property has been in his family for as long as anyone can remember, so they feel a special attachment to the ice cap, especially the wild sugarplum fields and reindeer frolicking grounds.

“People tend to think of the Arctic as a frozen wasteland, but there is vibrant flora and fauna, ranging from lichens and sedges to polar bears and Arctic foxes,” said CILTI Executive Director Cliff Chapman, “and recent bird counts found snow buntings, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes, among others.”

He added, “This truly one-of-a-kind property has incredibly rich biodiversity, and we’re honored to be asked to help protect it.”

Claus said he first learned of CILTI when he noticed a Central Indiana surge on his “Nice” list. Investigating the increase, he determined that it was driven by CILTI’s donors. “These people aren’t just nice,” Claus said. “With their generosity and concern for the environment, they’re making a difference in Central Indiana, and I want to make a similar difference in my neck of the woods.”

The conservation agreement does not restrict public access to the property, but CILTI does not plan to develop trails or amenities or to locate staff there.

Wishing a happy holiday to all! We are so grateful for the continued support.

Jen Schmits Thomas

Media Relations

An award-winning communicator and recognized leader in Central Indiana’s public relations community, Jen helps us tell our story in the media. She is the founder of JTPR, which she and her husband John Thomas own together.