Greenville, Wisconsin: Trail Town Seeks to Honor Heritage of Its Open Land

Julius Drive (red line) marks where the Yellowstone Trail passes through the heart of open land in the Greenville area that has been giving way to urban encroachment.

Julius Drive (red line) marks where the Yellowstone Trail passes through the heart of open land — slowly giving way to urban encroachment in Greenville. Click to enlarge Google Earth image.

One of the many great stories along the Yellowstone Trail in Wisconsin is the effort in the Town of Greenville to hang onto the area’s agricultural heritage and its natural lands, with the trail playing a potentially useful part.

John Julius, whose family name graces part of the original Yellowstone Trail — Julius Drive, south and west of the main portion of town — has been among many local residents who have helped put together the Greenville Greenbelt agricultural enterprise area, or AEA. The state-designated area is intended to help eligible landowners  enter into voluntary farmland preservation agreements and collect farmland preservation tax credits.

Julius, who recently took a few minutes off from getting his oat crop planted to discuss the AEA and its relationship to the Yellowstone Trail, has a deep commitment to preserving open space where he grew up, just west of Appleton’s Outagamie County Airport. Julius has the ability to stand at any high point in the county and point out every major landmark and landowner in every direction, with endless stories related to both the people and places.

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