Chocolate Bayou Preserve, Landowner Jerry Krampota’s Story
Earlier this month I found myself in Brazoria County conducting one of my routine annual monitoring visits at one of our private preserves, the Krampota – Lance Chocolate Bayou Preserve. It was here where I met the kind landowner, Jerry Krampota. As soon as I introduced myself to Mr. Krampota, I could tell he was a passionate landowner based on the look on his face when he spoke about his land, and it was then that I absolutely had to know why he chose to place a conservation easement on his property. His voice and demeanor conveyed the sense of pride he had for his land while telling me about his rich personal history with the property. It’s always a treat for me to meet spirited landowners because it lets me see just how impactful Bayou Land Conservancy’s mission for conserving land can be to the landowners themselves.
Mr. Krampota didn’t hesitate to elaborate on his journey and history with the preserve before it was even a preserve. What attracted him most to the parcel was an old log house he would see growing up in the nearby area as a kid. He knew then that he had a special connection with the property and was determined to buy it, which he did in 1977. Fast forward 27 years to 2004, and Jerry found himself a part of the local Texas Master Naturalist – Cradle of Texas chapter. This is when his conservation journey truly began. He met many like-minded individuals, and one biologist in particular, named Mike Lange, introduced Jerry to the idea of protecting his land in perpetuity for his family to enjoy by referring him to Legacy Land Trust.
Jerry was immediately interested in the idea of being able to conserve his land in perpetuity to preserve a piece of his own history with it. After a few years of careful consideration about placing a conservation easement on the land with his family, Mr. Krampota decided to bring it up to his family and reach a decision. After deliberating with his loved-ones, Mr. Krampota explained, a decision was made to partner with Legacy Land Trust and place a conservation easement on the land. The final touches were completed, and Legacy Land Trust became the easement holder on what became to be known as Krampota – Lance Chocolate Bayou Preserve, in 2009.
Since then, Legacy Land Trust has changed its name to Bayou Land Conservancy and a new batch of faces has been stewarding Mr. Krampota’s preserve, with the same amount of care and due diligence as before. When Mr. Krampota first purchased the land, he recounted being able to see his whole preserve, boundary-to-boundary, without his view being obstructed. Overtime his preserve has exploded in growth and today it is full of lush laurel oaks, black willows, and a thick yaupon holly midstory, all composing rare Columbia bottomland. Thanks to the conservation easement he has been able to see his land grow and mature into a healthy ecosystem over the years.
Bayou Land Conservancy strives to uphold our mission of preserving land along streams for flood control, clean water, and wildlife. Private landowners, such as Jerry Krampota and his preserve, are critical in helping us protect the natural environment we love in the Houston region for future Texans to enjoy. It takes a community to tend to nature. By supporting Bayou Land Conservancy as a landowner, donor, or volunteer, you can also do your part in helping us protect our natural resources.