Is there an Earthwork on your Property?

Is there an Earthwork on your Property?

 

The volunteers of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy may be able to offer free services to anyone who has an earthwork on their property. One of the primary missions of HEC is to offer expert advice to landowners about the earthworks they own. Contact us at director@earthworksconservancy.org if you might be interested in one or more of the below services:

 

  • We would like to learn from what you know about your earthwork. Landowners who have earthworks on their properties have often owned their land for many generations and know more about their earthworks than anyone else. Volunteers of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy may be interested in recording your knowledge about your earthwork for future generations of scientists and historians. If you are interested in this, we will come to you and conduct an interview.

 

  • We may be able to tell you something about your earthwork that you don’t already know. Sometimes, research has already been conducted on an earthwork that the landowner doesn’t know about. Contact us if you would like to find out what is known about your earthwork.

 

  • We may be able to advise you on how to manage your earthwork. Landowners sometimes wonder about how best to treat earthworks for the sake of their preservation, even if they have been damaged by earlier land use practices. Heartland Earthworks Conservancy can advise you on what activities may harm the earthwork and what activities will do no further harm. For instance, earthworks that have been plowed over in the past are often not harmed by continued no-till farming.

 

  • We may be able to advise you on how to preserve your earthwork for posterity. Some landowners would like to see to it that their earthwork is preserved by future generations. The Heartland Earthworks Conservancy can discuss with you what options there may be to ensure that the earthwork remains protected, whether you want to retain ownership of the earthwork, pass it on to your descendants or sell your property. We may also be able to help you nominate your earthwork as a site on the National Register of Historic Places. Some landowners would like to see the earthwork become part of a public historical preserve and may appreciate the advice of HEC’s experts on the ways this can be achieved.

 

  • We may be able to conduct a noninvasive geophysical survey of your earthwork. HEC may be able to arrange for your earthwork to be surveyed using modern archaeological technology. Such surveys involve no excavation, yet are capable of producing images of what remains of the earthwork below ground. Depending on the size of the earthwork, the survey may be completed in a few days. What is growing on the earthwork site is also a factor, for instance whether it is covered with forest, a cornfield or planted in soybeans. The surveys are costly, but HEC may be able to find grant funding to cover the expense at no cost to the landowner. Generally the fund-raising process is a lengthy one.

 

Is there any risk in contacting the HEC? No. Some landowners fear that if more is learned about the earthwork on their property, the government may come and take their land or restrict how the land may be used. However, in Ohio there are no laws that protect earthworks on private property, so landowners are free to do as they wish with the earthworks they own.  The preservation of earthworks on private property is strictly determined by the wishes of the landowner. As a matter of HEC policy, Heartland Earthworks Conservancy volunteers may only provide services in accordance with the wishes of landowners.

 

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the services HEC may provide, please contact us by email at director@earthworksconservancy.org