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Eagle Valley Land Trust and Walking Mountains conserve land at Avon campus

The Walking Mountains Avon Tang Campus was donated by Oscar Tang in 2007 to provide the valley with a place for learning and discovery. The campus is open to Eagle Valley residents and visitors.
Walking Mountains Science Center/Courtesy photo

[From the Vail Daily] The Eagle Valley Land Trust and Walking Mountains continue to work together to conserve land for community members. In late 2023, Walking Mountains amended an existing conservation easement held by the Eagle Valley Land Trust to add an additional acre to its Avon Campus.

The conservation easement amendment means an additional portion of the Walking Mountains Avon Tang Campus will now be conserved forever. The updated conservation easement ensures the permanent protection of the property’s public benefit and ecological value. 

The Walking Mountains Avon Tang Campus was donated by Oscar Tang in 2007 to provide the valley with a place for learning and discovery. The campus is open to Eagle Valley residents and visitors. The 10-acre site includes a stream, wetlands, pond, aspen forest and National Forest access. The Eagle Valley Land Trust now holds a conservation easement on four and a half acres of the 11-acre site, ensuring this section of the campus will be conserved forever.

“We are grateful to Walking Mountains for their ongoing stewardship of the Avon Tang Campus as well as the Precourt Family Sweetwater Campus,” said Jessica Foulis, executive director of Eagle Valley Land Trust, in a news release. “Donating conservation easements on each of these properties ensures that they will remain in their natural state and available to our community forever.” 

Using the Colorado Conservation Easement Tax credit program, Walking Mountains received a transferable state tax credit for donating the additional acre into a conservation easement. This transferable state income tax credit is available to landowners who create a perpetual conservation easement and donate part or all of the easement’s value to a certified land conservation organization, such as the Eagle Valley Land Trust.

Walking Mountains is investing the funds generated from the sale of this state tax credit back into the local community.

“Placing land into conservation easement on our property is consistent with our mission and we were pleased, once again, to work with Eagle Valley Land Trust,” said Markian Feduschak, president of Walking Mountains. “This most recent conservation easement at our Avon Tang Campus will ensure that locals, visitors, and Eagle County schoolchildren can enjoy outdoor spaces and educational programming for generations to come.”

For landowners who are interested in using this tax credit, the value of the credit is up to 90 percent of the donated property value with a credit cap of $5 million per easement. 

Keep It Colorado, a statewide conservation coalition that advocates for public policy, is working with state legislators to improve the conservation tax credit program. You can learn more about the efforts in the Amplifying Conservation in Colorado: Enhancing the Conservation Easement Tax Credit report. This legislation will support future efforts to conserve more land.

Want to learn more about local conservation and enjoy the conserved lands we love? Check out EVLT’s upcoming programs and events.

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