The true heroes behind our work are the people who make it happen. Whether tireless volunteers, generous landowners, or donors, they make it possible to protect land forever. One of these heroes is the late Marjorie Jones, who donated her family’s land to us upon her passing in August 2021.
We first met Ms. Jones through a Wednesday Warrior, a member of the weekly volunteer group made up mostly of retired individuals who loved to spread the word about our work. One day at the gym in 2011, the Wednesday Warrior told Ms. Jones about CILTI, and she surprised him by saying, “I know—I’m giving them my land in my will!”
Marjorie’s land was passed down to her through her family. Her ancestors, Friedrich Wilhelm Breuer (1805-1891) and Christine Deerburg (1809-1870), first owned the land when they emigrated from Germany in the 1800s. They homesteaded in Indiana, along with many other German immigrants.
Over ten years ago, Ms. Jones still lived in the family home on 80 acres of woods and croplands, but she saw encroachment and started to worry. New development kept popping up, and it acted as a potential threat to the Hancock County farmland that had been in her family for almost 200 years. Being the last in her family line, she was in a position to decide the land’s fate. She knew she wanted to keep it from ever being developed. So she willed it to CILTI.
She lived a humble lifestyle on the land and had been a school bus driver. When she passed away and we began working with her estate, we were stunned at the appraisal of her land. It was one of the highest-value gifts in CILTI history.
Now, Breier Creek—derived from the family’s surname—can forever meander through the property as it always has. We plan to establish a nature preserve in her honor on the area north of the creek.
We are so grateful to Marjorie for trusting us to protect her family legacy in perpetuity.
Communications and Outreach Intern