(Darlington, MD – April 1, 2009) On Saturday, March 21 the Harford Land Trust celebrated a highly successful year in 2008 at its annual membership meeting. There were 87 members and guests in attendance at the 17th annual meeting held at Camp Hidden Valley, a beautiful wooded retreat on preserved land overlooking Deer Creek just outside of Norrisville. An important theme present throughout the meeting was the importance of youth to the future of land preservation.
The highlight of the 2008 year was the 44-acre expansion of the Eden Mill Nature Center. The Harford Land Trust both contributed financially and negotiated the terms of the agreement between the property owners, the State of Maryland, and Harford County. Also during 2008, the Harford Land Trust accepted the generous donation of an easement from the Shaull Family on their 42-acre farm along the Little Gunpowder River on Houcks Mill Road.
In addition to these land transfers, the Harford Land Trust continued to monitor its properties and easements, assisted landowners interested in preserving their land, held work days to clean-up properties and make improvements by creating hiking trails, and held public outreach events and fundraisers.
Reflecting on 2008, Harford Land Trust President Harry V. Webster, Jr. said, “Despite a number of challenges, not the least of which being the economy, we are proud to boast significant successes in land preservation and stewardship in the last year. We are blessed to have such a dedicated membership, board, staff, and volunteers. It’s only through their hard work that we can fulfill our mission of conserving land and protecting the natural resources, scenic beauty, rural character, and healthy way of life in Harford County.”
The featured speaker for the day was Frank Marsden of the Eden Mill Nature Center. Frank discussed how the Nature Center got its start, and how the recent land acquisition with the assistance of the HLT will benefit future generations of Harford Countians. Also on hand was local author and historian Jack Shagena, who shared his extensive knowledge of Harford County’s milling and farming past, and how they have shaped the county’s landscape.
The Land Trust presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Lawrason Sayre for representing the HLT on the county’s Zoning Code Update Workgroup. Certificates were also given to Charles Day, Gloria Moon, Pat Barth, and Morita Bruce for their efforts during the zoning code update, and to HLT volunteers Carol Diebel and Fran Wyre. The Board of Directors also added Linn Griffiths of Darlington to its ranks. Griffiths teaches Environmental Science and Biology at C. Milton Wright High School.
Sincere gratitude is extended by the HLT to Ralph and Sabrina Norton for generously donating the use of their wonderful facilities at Camp Hidden Valley, and for all of their assistance in preparation for the meeting. Appreciation is also due to Doug Woodburn for photographing the day’s festivities.
For more information of the Harford Land Trust and to see photos of the event, visit the HLT’s website at www.harfordlandtrust.org.