2. Kellam-WyAtt Farm
Places like this are rare in Raleigh. On their farm, which has been in Bob’s family for three generations, Bob Kellam and Susan Wyatt have helped keep our air and water clean. Their forests and lakes offer a sanctuary to hundreds of plants and animals. They have grown produce that many of us bought at local farmers markets, and they taught sustainable agriculture practices to the next generation of farmers. Working with the City of Oaks Foundation, Bob and Susan envisioned that Kellam-Wyatt Farm could become a place for environmental education and sustainable farming for future generations, and protected the land with a conservation easement.
Bob passed away in August of 2016, but Susan and herstep-daughter Leewyn Kellam continued to work with the Foundation to realize their shared vision. Through the efforts by the City of Oaks Foundation to promote Bob and Susan's vision of this special place celebrating our community's natural and agricultural heritage, the Wake County County Commission voted in April of 2018 to accept donation of Kellam-Wyatt Farm as a future park, nature preserve or community agricultural site to share it with future generations.
The farm, a lush property featuring woods, lakes and trails, has been in Bob Kellam’s family for generations. Wyatt and Kellam, who met while working for the Environmental Protection Agency, began farming the land after retirement. They specialized in produce and pastured laying hens, and they sold their goods primarily through the farmers’ market and a small community-supported agriculture program. Their work at the EPA gave them a special appreciation for sustainable farming methods.
“My late husband, Bob Kellam, who grew up working on the farm, was a strong advocate for environmental protection and organically grown local food since the 1970s,” Susan Wyatt said. “He, his daughter, Leewyn, and I have enjoyed the beauty of the woods and ponds; the great herons, ospreys and other water birds; the singing of the toads and frogs; and local fresh vegetables and fruits from the fields for many years.
“As Wake County’s population has sky-rocketed, and fields and forests have been replaced with roofs and pavement, our determination to preserve and share open space with future generations has been reinforced. Through our visits to all of the county parks, our volunteer work with the County Extension Service and our association with the county Soil and Water Conservation Department, we have observed that Wake County shares our values of open space, environmental protection and sustainable agriculture, and we feel confident that Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space will be an excellent steward for the future of the farm.”
Kellam-Wyatt Farm is not yet open to the public. Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space staff, along with Wyatt and the City of Oaks Foundation, will begin master planning for open space preservation or use as a park, nature preserve or agricultural capacity.