Unlike so many of its longsuffering architectural brethren, the 4.5 acre historic homestead of the Dickson-Farm was spared from the wrecking ball by farsighted Village of Montgomery officials. While they wanted to keep it from being razed by developers, the Village did not have a specific use for the site. The site was sold to The Conservation Foundation in 2006. At that time, Kendall County was one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, and to give conservation a voice in the face of rampant development, we needed to be present on the front lines. A year prior to this purchase, we had initiated Protect Kendall Now!, an intense land conservation effort specific to Kendall County. Our new office space in the Dickson-Murst farmhouse allowed us to become part of the community, and be part of the conversation where land use issues were concerned. Along with a roomy farmhouse for office space, we acquired several beautifully kept farm buildings in the purchase. But preserving beautiful old buildings, while a very worthy cause, is not the Foundation's mission, and the maintenance of these building was a concern. Some creative, out-of-the-box thinking brought together a number of community individuals and groups who agreed to maintain the farm's outbuildings in return for the use of the space for various cultural and community activities. The Foundation uses the main house as an office, while the Dickson-Murst Farm Partners maintain the outbuildings, which were kept in pristine shape by the farm's former owners.