Eden Mill’s annual Fall Fest

About 950 people attended Eden Mill’s Fall Fest, on November 4, including representatives of the Trust.

The free community event included a passport scavenger hunt, a huge leaf pile, farm animals at a small petting zoo, rescued wild animals at the Phoenix Wildlife Center tent, and even pumpkins launched using a trebuchet. “It’s our way of saying, ‘thank you’ to the 10,000 people who come here every year for our programs, for our canoe trips and just to visit the mill and the nature center,” Frank Marsden, Eden Mill’s naturalist and program director.

In 2008, Harford Land Trust expanded Eden Mill with the purchase of a 44-acre adjoining parcel in Pylesville. The Trust negotiated the terms of the agreement between the Vaughn family and a partnership of the State of Maryland’s Program Open Space and the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation. The property includes more than 30 heavily wooded acres as well as one-half mile of stream bank along Big Branch Creek, which is consistent with the water protection strategies outlined in the County’s Deer Creek Watershed Restoration Action Strategy.

Conowingo Eagles Day

On November 4, over 1,100 visitors gathered along the Harford County shore of the Susquehanna River for the 5th annual Conowingo Eagle Day held by Exelon Power Generation, owners of the dam. Visitors had an opportunity to learn about wildlife photography, bald eagles and birding around Conowingo Dam. There is a tremendous population of bald eagles who call the area around the Conowingo Dam home. They soared over the river below the dam and then skimmed over the water to snag a fish in their talons.

HLT rallies partners to expand Forest Greens Preserve in Perryman

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The Harford Land Trust’s first project was the Forest Green’s Lake Preserve in Perryman in 1992. Now a county park, the preserve remains a point of pride for the Forest Greens-Perryman Community Association (FGPCA), with which we worked closely on this project.

After 25 years, we are back in Perryman looking to expand the park with the purchase of an additional 32 acres to the north. The property has been on our priority list for over a decade.
Riverwalk II, as the property is known, is a proposed subdivision of 21 single-family lots with access from Mitchell Drive in Perryman.

FullSizeRenderFor years, the developers have placed a value of $5,800,000 on the property with final subdivision approval. Faced with challenges to complete subdivision approval, and after years of negotiations, they have agreed on a sales price to the Trust of $935,000. Should HLT and our partners be unable to secure funding to purchase the property, development will begin in 2018.

Through our partnership with the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, we have secured $850,000 toward the purchase price, plus funds for due diligence and settlement, leaving a balance of $85,000. We are looking to the Forest Greens-Perryman community, the wider Harford community, regional corporations, local businesses, and grants to raise the $85,000. The need to finance this acquisition comes at a time when the Trust has multiple properties going to contract, with associated costs. Click here to donate to the cause; no amount is too small.

Annual Harvest Moon Dinner & Auction Raises $48,500 for Land Preservation in Harford County

The Harford Land Trust raised a record $48,500 at its sixth annual Harvest Moon Dinner & Auction on Saturday, October 21.  A sell-out crowd of 200 people attended the event at the Bel Air Armory in support of the nonprofit’s mission of preserving land in Harford County.

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“The outpouring of support from citizens and businesses across Harford County at this year’s event has been overwhelming,” said Harford Land Trust Board President Ben Lloyd.  “It shows strong community support for our efforts to preserve land and foster greater appreciation of Harford’s rural beauty.  The result of that generosity will be the additional land preservation projects that we will be able to complete in the coming months and years.”

Attendees vied for over 80 auction items donated by local businesses and residents.  Contributions included original artwork, services, food and drink, excursions, and other goods.  Derek Hopkins, the county’s Register of Wills, donated his auctioneering services as well. 

Honorary Event Chair Rick Post of Pylesville, a longtime volunteer and former HLT vice president, appealed to guests for contributions to support needed land management costs. In response, 50 individuals raised their paddles to donate a collective $7,000 to the HLT.