WCCB and FWCCF use land donations to fund new environmental education center | Community


It started with an email and ended with a generous donation of over $30,000 to the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation. Ultimately, the donation will be used by the Foundation to facilitate construction of the future Winnebago County Environmental Education Center, north of Leland.

On October 24, 2020, Winnebago County Conservation Board Director Robert Schwartz received the email from Mr. David Christ which read, “I have two lots south of Lake Mills that are adjacent to the wilderness area owned by Harriet Young. I’m willing to donate it to the new conservation center. Maybe you can find a use for them or sell them. I know someone who at one point expressed interest in buying one.

When Schwartz returned to his office a few days later, he called Mr. Christ to hear his offer. The families of David Christ and his wife (Ruth Elaine Moe Christ) were from the Lake Mills area. David graduated from Lake Mills High School in 1960. He and his wife now reside in Iowa City.

The land they owned was part of a development that David’s parents and a friend, Bill Young, Sr., had acquired with the idea of ​​seeing houses built on it. Several houses were eventually built. After the death of David’s parents, the lots became the property of David and his siblings. David and his parents considered themselves conservation conscious, so he thought it appropriate that the lots be donated to the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation to be put to good use.

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David also suggested contacting his sister, Carolyn Goddard of North Liberty to see if she was also interested in donating the lots she and her husband (Bruce Goddard) owned. Turns out they were. Neither the Christs nor the Goddards wanted anything in return.

Donation transactions were completed last fall and the Foundation has put the lots up for sale. Both lots sold out quickly and raised over $30,000. After closing costs, the total amount donated was $29,642. All proceeds will go towards building the new Winnebago County Environmental Education Center.

In addition to the Christs and Goddards, the WCCB and FWCCF would also like to thank Jeremy Gray of Newman, Thompson, & Gray, Attorneys at Law in Forest City. They provided free legal services to the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation to facilitate the donation and sale of the properties.