"The property has been in my family since 1813-two hundred years now." Kay proudly states. "My father was born in this house and my grandfather died here, and Marty and I have lived here together since we were married 35 years ago."
Marty adds, "We hope someday our daughter, our son-in-law and our grandson will wish to make this their home as well."
Marty also comes from a family with strong ties and a deep commitment to the land. He is the ninth generation of the Schwenkfelder family to have lived on his family's farm.
When you arrive at the home of Martin and Kay Kriebel in District Township, you are struck by the immaculate yard and the beautifully maintained stone farmhouse and barn dating from the early 1800s. This unique property of 84 acres is located in the headwaters of the Pine Creek Valley Watershed in the Oley Hills of Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is the source of the many seeps and springs that feed this Exceptional Value Stream and its wetlands. A tributary of the Pine Creek originates here.
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Several years ago Marty and Kay began to explore options to preserve their land, "It was the Berks Conservancy that introduced us to sources of funding for the sale of our development rights. They guided us through the entire process," Marty pointed out.
Kay and Marty spoke of their long-term desire to protect their District Township farm.
"It is a responsibility that we feel toward those who came before us to pass the farm to those who will follow," says Kay.
Their farm was one of the first properties in Pennsylvania to receive funding under the Highlands Conservation Act, a federal law passed in 2004, that allocated federal monies for the protection of land in the four state Highlands area that includes Pennsylvania. A 50% match to the Highlands funding was contributed by Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The neat spring house in the image, above to the left, and the green willow to the left side of the image, above to the right, both shelter springs that feed Pine Creek.
Treat the Earth well.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors.
We borrow it from our Children.
Ancient Native American Proverb
The Pine Creek flows behind the house at the edge of the forest.
The permanent protection of the Kriebel Farm is an outstanding example of Federal, State and local initiative to conserve properties in the Oley Hills region of the Pennsylvania Highlands.
With their acreage now included, over 200 acres in this sensitive headwaters area of the Exceptional Value Pine Creek Watershed of the Oley Hills will forever remain pristine.
When asked about their decision to protect their farm, they say they have no regrets. Their contented smiling faces say it all.
Ingrid Morning wrote the text.
Martin and Kay Kriebel recently installed the beautiful new sign that declares that their farm was preserved.
They are very happy to have preserved their farm and are now encouraging their neighbors to follow their lead.