HLT is extremely pleased to report that we have secured donations and pledges of $935,000, the agreed purchase price for the 32-acre Perryman Forest. The Trust entered into a purchase and sale agreement for the property in March 2018. This binding agreement specifies the sale price and terms under which HLT will purchase the property. The sale is contingent on many pieces still falling into place, but the biggest hurdle—funding—was just overcome.
Following an initial commitment of 90% of the purchase price from the U.S. Army (through Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Army Compatible Use Buffer Program), we began a public fundraising campaign in November 2017. Generous supporters donated approximately $19,000 for the preservation of this important property on the Bush River with over 60 households contributing. See a full listing of supporters on page 4.
HLT’s communication about the importance of this project and the strong community support came to the attention of the Harford County Department of Public Works. The Watershed Protection and Restoration team, led by Scott Kearby and Christine Buckley, supported HLT’s goals of ecological conservation for the protection of water quality and recognized the project’s strong alignment with the County’s Green Infrastructure plan. With the support of County Executive Barry Glassman, HLT and the County subsequently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a pledge to cover the remainder of HLT’s Perryman Forest funding needs.
The Harford Land Trust’s first project was the Forest Green’s Lake Preserve in Perryman in 1992, now a county park. The preservation of the Perryman Forest effectively expands the Preserve by 32 acres to the north. The tidal and non-tidal wetlands on the site are hydrologically connected through surface and subsurface flow to the Bush River and subsequently to the Chesapeake Bay, benefiting water quality by retaining nutrients and sediment. The property is characterized by upland forest and wetlands, also known as “tree swamps,” and vernal pools, also known as “flatwoods.” This type of ecosystem is only found in the Coastal Plain portion of the County, and is of limited occurrence.
We expect to close on this property within the next six months.