MUNCIE, Ind — Even though 1999 was the last year of a century, it was only the beginning for Red-Tail Land Conservancy in east-central Indiana.

Red-Tail Land Conservancy celebrated 20 years of land conservancy this past weekend.

Red-Tail protects more than 2,700 acres of land across east-central Indiana.

From woods to farmlands, Red-Tail protects it all.

“The future is pretty exciting from the standpoint of the work we do is permanent,” Executive Director, Julie Borgmann said.

This means the land Red-Tail serves, will always be protected. But their work does not end there.

“We’re working on a strategic conservation plan to try and identify those really high quality natural areas that need to be protected,” Borgmann said.

There are two ways Red-Tail obtains the lands they protect. One is to work with existing owners by making a conservation easement, which is an agreement with the owner and Red-Tail that limits the use of the lands. The other way Red-Tail gets the lands is to raise money to buy land for everyone to use.

“So that we can also help fulfill another part of our mission which is to connect people to nature,” Borgmann said.

Ten out of 11 of Red-Tail’s preserves are open to the public. One is right in Muncie’s own backyard near the Cardinal Greenway.

Borgmann also explains how serene the locations are, especially during the winter times.

“Cold times like this are one of the best times because you can hear the sounds better, things aren’t muffled by the leaves on the trees, you can see wildlife, you can really observe the different structures and shapes of the trees. And I think in the winter time, it tends to have a more peaceful, quiet kind of nature, and there’s no mosquitoes or bugs either,” Borgmann said.

For more information about Red-Tail’s conservation efforts, visit its website at fortheland.org.

Locations of the Red-Tail’s lands that are available for the public to enjoy are in green. The one that is not open for public access is in red.