You might have seen lee schuler working as the Coordinator of Monroe County Vector Control. Now her work will be on display all over the county in a different fashion.
Schuler says, "I’ve done artwork and done some different things through the arts council and I’ve sold some. I’ve displayed rarely in a gallery but this is the first time that I’ve done anything for the county."
Schuler is the local artist behind the newly designed preserved farmland sign. She painted a representation of the first preserved farm in Monroe County, the Miller Farm located in Jackson Township. Schuler tells us it’s near and dear to her heart because her dad grew up on a farm in Neola.
Schuler says, "I think it’s a really wonderful thing, I’m grateful for the opportunity. It actually makes me kind of get emotional."
Today the new sign was presented at Gould’s Produce in Brodheadsville and is set to be given out to the 122 preserved farms in the county totaling more than eight thousand acres. A farm has to go through several steps to be part of the preservation program. Tracy Serfass owns a crop farm in Kresgeville and is excited to see the bigger sign.
Serfass says, "This is just going to be very eye catching. I know we’re planning on doing a really pretty display at the end of our long driveway, just to make it pop and people will see it all over the county then and recognize immediately oh that’s another preserved farm!"
The original Preserved Farmland sign included the Monroe County Open Space logo, which is also displayed on all Open Space properties. We’re told that led to some confusion.
Monroe County Planning Commission Director Christine Meinhart-Fritz says, "Everyone recognized that logo that people started confusing the preserved farms with Open Space properties and we had farmers calling saying people were picnicking in their soybean fields and bicycling through their orchards so at that point the Agricultural Preservation Board decided that something needed to be done."
The original signs were posted about four years ago. We’re told each new work of art cost about 75 dollars which was covered by the state, planning commission budget and special funding. Those shopping at Gould’s Produce today tell us they’re looking forward to spotting them.
Rick of Barrett Township says, "It’s always a good idea. I’m glad that we’re preserving some of the farmland and letting people know where they are."
In the next two weeks you’ll start seeing the changeover throughout the county.