Norma Lohbrunner lived on the same 40-acre farm since she married her husband, Joseph, in 1945. A long driveway lead you to a white farmhouse with fields to your right and the forest rising up, providing a picturesque green backdrop. It is these two features – the agricultural fields and the forest – that Norma was passionate about.
Over the years, Norma and Joseph grew a wide variety of produce on the land, from beef cattle to hay to vegetables. Joseph had a great passion for birds and Norma recalled how he would bring towhee birds into the kitchen to feed them. He whistled and called like the birds and even took care of one that had a broken leg. Both Joseph and Norma lived with the land and what it offered them.
After Joseph passed away in 1968, Norma wanted to uphold his wish that “this land never be developed”. Norma’s vision was also to protect this land from the rampant development she had seen in the region. She saw the forest as a calm sanctuary for her beloved bird community and the farmland as a valuable food-producing resource, despite the fact that it had only been used for hay production in recent years. This minimal farming activity all changed when Norma began the process to see her hopes for the farm realized.
In 2007, Norma donated the farm to The Land Conservancy using a legal agreement called a ‘life estate’. A ‘life estate’ meant that Norma would live in her home for the rest of her life; it meant that she had given title to The Land Conservancy who assume responsibility for protecting the land in perpetuity as per Norma’s wishes.
Norma passed away on October 18, 2011. She will be missed by her friends, family and all who knew her. For more information on Norma’s story please visit our post celebrating her life.
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