IMS Green Team Proposes Land Easement to Protect Forest Linkages in the Northeast

It may seem like a tall order to protect woodland areas in the Northeast from harmful development and forest fragmentation. But the IMS Green Team has planted roots at the Board-level to protect a 64-acre parcel of our campus through what’s known as a “land easement.” 

On June 1st, 2023, five members of Ms. Kelly Tieger’s Green Team stood in front of the IMS Board of Trustees and presented a compelling proposal (drafted by the entire Green Team made up of fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students) to keep the parcel of land undeveloped in perpetuity. “It was incredibly empowering for these students who had spent their entire school year researching conservation, biodiversity, and our responsibility as human beings to protect the earth,” reflects Ms. Tieger.  

During their presentation, members of the Green Team stated, “a land easement at IMS would allow the school to create a legacy of conservation and put our sustainability beliefs into practice. We would be protecting a portion of our land forever – for the next hundred years, and the next, and the next.” 

This type of ambitious yet critical work has gained momentum in the region thanks to an organization called “Follow the Forest.” In fact, it was during a 2021 visit from Follow the Forest and the Sharon Land Trust that IMS students began to imagine how they could preserve part of our own land to aid in the effort to prevent the persistent threat of forest fragmentation.

Over the past two years, Ms. Tieger’s students studied the Eastern Forest Corridor and drew connections between land development and habitat loss, and the subsequent ecological impact. Mobilized, her students and the Green Team were eager to learn more about wildlife linkages and how important they are for animals to pass from place to place, uninterrupted. “They became community scientists,” exclaims Ms. Tieger, adding that her students “collected data and performed linkage assessments right here on Indian Mountain Road.” 

This timely and relevant learning experience began as a visit from local conservation organizations and will likely culminate in the lifelong protection of a parcel of land, proving that you’re never too young to make a tangible difference. The IMS Board of Trustees was excited to consider this proposal and will actively work with the Green Team on next steps. 

Learn more about connecting and protecting forests: