Photo by Deb Potts

Indy’s Lacywood Estate protected forever

June 6, 2016

30+ wooded acres adjacent to Indy’s Lacywood Estate protected forever

Conservation easement ensures property on city’s northwest side won’t be developed

The wooded grounds surrounding the famous Lacywood Estate in Indianapolis will be protected from development forever thanks to a conservation easement signed by the property’s owner, Debra Potts, and the Central Indiana Land Trust.

A total of 31.5 acres will be protected on the northwestern Marion County property known by many as the grounds for Lacywood, a 1930s estate built by the Lacy family that hosted generations of Indianapolis leaders and well-to-do citizens. The West 79th Street property’s high-quality forest includes trees from a time before the area was settled along with a younger forest of about 80 years.

Ms. Potts, who donated the conservation easement, had protection in mind when she purchased the property. “This place found me, I like to think. A lovely home and a chunk of nature and wildness to protect: I couldn’t be happier.”

Because the property will remain in private ownership, it will not be open to the public. However, the public will benefit in other ways, said Central Indiana Land Trust Executive Director Cliff Chapman.

“This will ensure that an area of greenspace remains to support local wildlife and preserve trees that harken pre-settlement Indiana,” Chapman said. “This will benefit nearby landowners as well as those who simply pass through the area.”

Conservation easements are legal agreements between landowners and land trusts that place specific land-use restrictions on a property according to the landowner’s desires. Those restrictions are attached to the title of the property, so they remain in place even if the property is sold to new owners. This means landowners can derive financial benefits from the property – enjoying it themselves, continuing to use it as a working property or even selling it – so long as they use the property in ways consistent with the conditions of the conservation easement. Conservation easements also deliver certain tax benefits to landowners.

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Media contact: Jen Thomas, JTPR,, 317-441-2487

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.