Lundale Farm was bought in 1946 by Sam and Eleanor Morris. These pioneers in agricultural land preservation raised their family on the former Pugh property, using it as a functioning farm for years.
Their passion for natural lands and agricultural combined with their careers in government and community service made them a force in the field. They founded French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust in 1967. The not-for-profit organization’s mission is to preserve open space through donation of easements on private land and acquisition of land for public use. The Trust was one of the earliest land trusts to use easements to preserve open space and farmland. During their time of involvement, the Trust saved over 5000 acres in open space.
In 1974, the Morris Family was granted an easement of the 175 acres of Lundale Farm. Sam and Eleanor’s wish was for the property to be a place for regenerative agriculture to thrive. They watched as acres of farmland turned into suburbs, realizing that there would need to be farms to feed all of these new neighbors. Their daughters Laura and Eleanor, along with Eleanor’s husband Stock Illoway, accepted the challenge of championing preserved land and creating a non-profit at Lundale Farm.
Since then, the farm has grown to over 550 acres with multiple tenants who are committed to biodynamic methods of farming. Biodiversity is not only beneficial but crucial to the health of our planet and people. Lundale’s range of soil varieties paired with the different types of farms on the property are a living experiment of how we can create more sustainable farms across Pennsylvania.
The Board of Directors at Lundale strive to use this land to honor the Morris family’s achievements in conservation advocacy. Their legacy in protecting natural and agricultural land is reflected in the amazing community that supports Lundale through time, talent, and treasure.
••• More about Samuel Morris •••
Samuel Morris has been called “the father of agricultural land preservation in the United States” by many in the field. He was Chairman of the House Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee for eight years. In the late 1980s, he was the prime sponsor of nationally recognized legislation enabling the purchase of development rights on farms and initially providing $100 million to fund such purchases. Subsequent legislative victories and bond issues to finance the purchase of farmland development rights have made Pennsylvania a national and emulated leader in both the size and scope of efforts to preserve farmland. To date, over 5,329 farms totaling over 552,702 acres have been preserved with funding of $1 billion+ dollars, more than any other state in the nation.