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.
Bowers was also a founder of the 2009 Save the Rocks campaign. The group successfully worked with the State Highway Administration on improvements to Route 24 that safeguarded the aesthetic and historic value of the Rocks and prevented erosion into Deer Creek. She was employed as a land preservation manager by numerous land trusts in Baltimore County and currently serves as the Agricultural Land Preservation Manager for Carroll County.
Conti was honored for his long-time service and contributions to the Harford Land Trust. For the past seven years, he has donated his professional floral and event design expertise and materials for the organization’s annual dinner and auction gala. Conti is also a member of Friends of Harford and the Little Gunpowder Improvement Association.
Seventy-five people attended the HLT’s annual meeting at Harford Glen. Since its founding in 1991, the local land preservation nonprofit has hosted an informational meeting for members and the public. The event included a presentation by Harford County Parks & Recreation Director Kathy Burley on the land preservation components of the Harford County’s 2018 Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). Howard Eakes, Harford County Assistant Supervisor of Science also led attendees on a “campus tour,” showcasing the Glen’s facilities and environmental education component.