Much of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund’s support has been going to local arts and humanities lately, with some grants going to community development and teen pregnancy prevention in Oklahoma, too. But with the recent donation of the family farm to the foundation, could it be venturing into land and wildlife preservation now too?
The Kirkpatrick family farm, known as the Spencer Homestead, is one of the oldest continually owned pieces of real estate in Oklahoma, spanning 33 acres. It was purchased by founder John Kirkpatrick’s grandparents in 1894 after his family established the town of Yukon. John’s grandson has owned the farm for the past 40 years.
Christian Keesee, president of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, shared:
My son, Blake Keesee, and I are pleased to be making this contribution to the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. By doing so, the property will be maintained and preserved for, not only public enjoyment during festivals and community events, but also for all variety of animals that make their home on the property as well as migratory animals who stop in at all times of the year to refresh themselves on the property's lakes and unspoiled wooded areas.
By making this large plot of land part of the family fund’s domain, the Kirkpatrick family is hoping to ensure the community’s enjoyment of events, like the Chisolm Trail Historical Preservation Society’s Easter on the Prairie, the Iron Thistle Scottish Festival and the Chisolm Trail & Crawfish Festival. The farm also serves as an educational resource about life on the prairie after the Civil War and during the cattle drive era in Oklahoma. This is a place to celebrate local cowboy culture and appreciate farm animals, food, music and dance. And this farm donation provides the residents of Yukon and the surrounding communities with family friendly activities and visitors with insights into local history and culture.
In the past, KFF has supported tree planting and preservation. It typically gravitates toward beautification and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space grants over traditional land conservation efforts. So perhaps this family farm arrangement is more of a community and culture grant than an environmental one after all.
As you might recall, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund (which is a separate entity from the Kirkpatrick Family Foundation) is the largest affiliated fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. However, you can submit an initial letter of inquiry directly through the KFF website.
Project support, general operating support, and endowment matching support are all made available by this funder. The next deadline for general operating support and large grants is September 1, and the rolling deadline for small and matching grants ($10,000 or less) is October 1 for consideration at the November trustee meeting. Follow KFF on Twitter at@KFF_OKC.