Etzel Sugar Grove Farm

Indian Creek Nature Center announces largest donation of land in organization’s history

Indian Creek Nature Center (ICNC) is pleased to announce the acceptance of 192 acres of land located near Alburnett. Donated by the Etzel family, the property consists of timber, pasture and farmland. A fourth-generation local family farm, this land has been in the Etzel family since 1888 and is valued at more than $1 million.

The Etzel family’s decision to donate the land to ICNC was prompted by the organization’s longstanding history of land protection and fiscal responsibility. The family’s donation is intended to ensure the protection of the property for generations to come.

“This donation is a testament to the Etzel family’s trust and confidence in Indian Creek Nature Center. As the Nature Center enters a new era, we will maintain the land’s strong history of agricultural production and take this opportunity to grow our sustainable agriculture and local food programs,” stated Executive Director John Myers.

The gift consists of three different land tracts each of which is located near the Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Linn County.

Etzel Sugar Grove Farm

A working farm, this property includes pasture, timber, and farm ground. The timber consists of a maple grove where ICNC intends to harvest sap to increase its annual maple syrup production. Throughout the pasture and woodlands, natural springs are interspersed among 100+ year old trees. Remnants of an old stage coach road are still visible as well.

Lafayette Mill

The Lafayette Mill property is registered on the National Historic Registry, as remnants of one of the first saw and grain mills in Linn County resides there. Otter Creek flows year-round through these grounds.

George Etzel Timber

Thirty-nine acres of dense woodlands characterize this land. Prime habitat for deer, turkey, and fox, keeping this land natural will continue to support the ecological health of the property and surrounding land.

The Etzel family has also established the “Etzel Sugar Grove Farm Endowed Fund” at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, with distributions to pay for the property’s ongoing expenses.

This donation brings Indian Creek Nature Center’s total land ownership and management to 482 acres, all in Eastern Iowa.

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