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Ionia farmland protected forever

Hank Stebbins was out of the country in 1968 when his mother purchased 128 acres of farmland in Ionia. The farm in the West Bloomfield hamlet was a real find for his mother, who lived in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford and needed an outlet for her “green thumb,” Stebbins said.

His mother, Gary Armstrong Stebbins, who died in 2000, was “a woman of tremendous vision and energy,” added Hank, 76, who spent much of his life in Pittsford and now lives in the Albany area.

Late last year, Hank Stebbins — along with his children, nieces and nephews — ensured that the land his mother so loved for years will be protected forever with a conservation easement through Genesee Land Trust. In June, members of the Stebbins and Peppers families will be on hand for a public tour of the property hosted by the land trust. The event will be part of the land trust’s annual meeting of staff and volunteers to celebrate local land conservation.

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