Legal and Financial Strategies for Conservation


  • How to define different types of conservation easements as well as the legal definition in the IRS tax code
  • How to use historic tax credits to advance preservation by organizations with limited financial resources
  • Programmatic strategies for building public support for cherished historic assets in a community


Historic Herff Farm is an iconic Texas Hill Country landscape that has been carefully restored and is now being transformed into a center for sustainable living. In 2016, the farm was recognized with a Preservation Texas Honor Award, and the homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Taking cues from its past, Herff Farm currently hosts a weekly farmers market, "Farm Classroom," for area schoolchildren and demonstrations showcasing best practices for water conservation, renewable energy, and small-scale agricultural production. Using Herff Farm as a case study, this course highlights financial, legal, and programmatic strategies that have been used by the managing nonprofit organization to ensure its long-term conservation. Explore how to use conservation easements (a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and land trust), historic tax credits, and programmatic strategies that engender stewardship and protection to balance the maintenance of character and heritage with limited financial resources.