King, who is with Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, said the program protects land from development for perpetuity.
“It's a deed restriction chosen and selected by the landowner to prevent certain things from happening,” King said. “Essentially in the conservation easement world it is preserving and protecting wildlife habitat, forest lands, open lands, prairies, sustainable agriculture, and it prevents the development of that property.”
Prairie Land Conservancy is a division of Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development. King said PLC was created in 2008. One year later PLC received its first parcel of land, which is the 196 acre Stony Hills nature preserve in northern Hancock County.
The Samuelsons are landowners who are participating in the program. They own nearly seven acres on Macomb's west side, not far from Western Illinois University.
“We have a lot of nice wildlife that we observe most every day and we wanted to keep that like it was,” said Ginny Samuelson.
The Samuelsons said the property includes a hickory forest and a year-round creek. They've seen mink, coyote, fox, owls and other animals on the land.
“It's just a great wildlife refuge which is surrounded by city and it's only a block away from the campus,” said Dennis Samuelson.
PLC serves ten counties in west central Illinois: Adams, Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, and Warren.