The Harford Land Trust recognized Deborah Bowers of Rocks, Maryland with the organization’s prestigious Conservation Award during its annual membership meeting on Saturday, April 6 at Harford Glen Environmental Education Center in Bel Air. Jeffery Conti of Joppa, Maryland was also honored with Harford Land Trust’s Volunteer Award at the event.
Bowers has been a leading voice for conservation and land preservation for decades. She founded the Farmland Preservation Report in 1990, a nationally recognized periodical. Bowers also co-authored the book “Holding Our Ground: Protecting America’s Farms and Farmland” in 1997, which remains a leading resource for farmland preservation practitioners. She was instrumental in the effort to create Harford County’s agricultural land preservation program, which was overwhelmingly approved by Harford voters in a referendum, and through which the county has permanently preserved over 30,000 acres since 1993.
The Harford Land Trust, a local land preservation nonprofit founded in 1991, recently elected the Honorable William O. Carr of Bel Air to its Board of Directors.
Carr retired in 2017 after 33 years of service as a judge on the Circuit Court of Harford County; one of the longest serving such judges in Maryland. He is a native of Havre de Grace, and a graduate of Havre de Grace High School, Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland School of Law. He served for many years as the Court’s Administrative Judge, and he continues to hear cases on a fill-in basis.
HLT’s 2017—2022 Strategic Plan called for us to strategically pursue land preservation projects that meet our land preservation criteria. Of course, we cannot, and should not, protect “everything.” It is paramount that our land preservation efforts are sharply focused on the most critical and vulnerable resources to ensure our efforts have the greatest positive impact.
Thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Land and Water Initiative, a project of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and the Land Trust Alliance, we were able to try something new further this goal. In late 2017, HLT engaged the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center to develop a Harford County strategic land preservation prioritization map based on HLT’s land preservation criteria.