Local Family Donates Their 570-acre “Whooping Hollow Woods” to the Land Trust
ALPINA, AR (May 12, 2012) – Paul and Diana Guraedy, along with sons David and Philip Guraedy, announced the protection of their 100 year-old homestead at a gathering of friends and family on Saturday, May 12, 2012. As part of the family’s irrevocable trust the property, locally called Whooping Hollow Woods, is to be donated to Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) who is charged with protecting the property for generations to come.
Diana Guraedy’s grandfather, J.A. Smith, homesteaded the original 160 acre parcel on May 12, 1912. Over the next 100 years, Smith’s children, Economy Scoles, Success Vestraci, and Exel Smith, steadily added acreage to the original parcel, for a total of 650 acres. After retiring to the family property in 1975, the Guraedy family’s dream was to preserve Whooping Hollow Woods in its natural state and in 2011 they partnered with NWALT to make the dream a reality.
“This place has been the one constant throughout my life,” said Diana Guraedy. “Despite all the places across the nation that I have lived, this is the place that never changed. I’m so pleased that it will always stay the same and that our sons are as eager for its preservation as we are.”
Whooping Hollow Woods is located at the headwaters of Dishroon Creek, a part of Long Creek and a tributary of Table Rock Lake. With forested riparian buffers surrounding several creeks and springs, preservation of the property will help maintain water quality in Long Creek and Table Rock Lake. And with over 300 acres of Ozark native forest, the site is home to a wide variety of local flora and fauna.
“When I first met Paul and Diana, it was obvious how much they cared for Whooping Hollow Woods, its history, and the diversity of wildlife on their property,” said Nicole Hardiman, NWALT’s Executive Director at the time. “With Paul’s career in the National Park Service, the family spent many years living on protected lands across the United States. Their goal of preserving this beautiful piece of land and their personal sacrifice is an inspiration.”
The project involved several key individuals to make it a success. NWALT Board member and local estate planning attorney, Micki Harrington, took on the task of setting up the Guraedy’s irrevocable trust, which names NWALT as the recipient of Whooping Hollow Woods.
“When Paul and Diana approached our Board, we jumped at the chance to help them out,” said Harrington. “The mission of NWALT is to protect land for ecological, agricultural, and historic purposes, so it was a natural fit.”
Additionally, Ozarks Water Watch (OWW) financially supported the project through their OWW Project Fund. Angela Danovi, OWW’s Northwest Arkansas-based staff member, represented the organization at Saturday’s gathering. “Preservation of Whooping Hollow Woods is a significant contribution to the preservation of clean water in the Long Creek watershed. We are pleased to support the land conservation efforts of Northwest Arkansas Land Trust,” commented Danovi.
David Guraedy, one of Paul and Diana’s sons, added, “If we don’t do things like this, there will be nothing like it left. Even within my lifetime, the landscape around our property has changed, despite the fact that we don’t live close to an urban area. If this place can change, then what hope is there for more populated locations?”
If you are interested saving your land, contact Terri Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-966-4666. We are happy to discuss all available options and answer any questions you may have.