Two Hocking County woodlands that will be saved through planned Bequests.
Wildwood & Butterfly Repair
Jen Heller’s Wildwood. When Jen Heller was five years old, her dad purchased a 54-acre forest retreat for their family in Hocking County. Over the years, Wildwood, as they came to call it, became an extension of Jen’s backyard, a private wonderland that she and her sisters and friends could explore all on their own. Jen fondly recalls, “I was turned loose there as a kid. Sure, I was stung by bees, and I fell out of trees, but it was the best.” She added, that no matter what befell her, she “never felt scared at Wildwood.”
Jen was given the property as an early inheritance in 2000. She pours her nurturing spirit into removing non-native invasive species and healing the wounds caused by the last major timber harvest that took place on the property in the 1920s. Having spent her career as a development director for a major university, Jen recognizes the importance of planning for the future of Wildwood when she is no longer able to care for it. She approached the Arc of Appalachia last year about bequeathing her beloved Wildwood to the Arc at her passing.
Butterfly Repair. Alongside Jen Heller’s bequest of Wildwood, Alan Cohen and Evie Adelman’s bequest of the adjacent sanctuary, known as Butterfly Repair, will one day collaboratively protect a 143-acre woodlands.
When Alan bought the 89-acre property prior to meeting Evie, the land was a study in abuse. The soils were exhausted, the timber was cut over, and rolls of old barbed wire were strewn across the land. Alan built a cabin there from scratch. Later, he met Evie who became his muse – giving him the gift of truly being seen. Strengthened by their partnership, they co-created a life of healing for themselves and service to others.
Alan writes, “Because we have taken the steps to protect the land that has nourished us and taught us the most important lessons of our lives, others will have the chance to stand in awe and be healed. May they walk through this mature grove of the oaks and beech feeling that same sense of connection.”
Click here to read the full article from the 2022-2023 news magazine.