Eden Mill Nature Center Expansion

In 2008, the HLT expanded Eden Mill.

County, State Partner With Harford Land Trust To Grow Eden Mill Nature Center

In a collaborative effort that illustrates how non-profits and government can work together for the public good, Harford County, the State of Maryland, and the Harford Land Trust announced the purchase of a 44-acre parcel adjoining Eden Mill Nature Center in Pylesville.

The Harford Land 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. It was a pleasure working with the Vaughn Family; Jeffrey and Evelyn Vaughn, Jim and Kim Vaughn, and Vicki and Cliff Dowling.

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. Frank Marsden, Director of the Eden Mill facility said, “This collaboration goes far beyond the individuals and organizations that facilitated the purchase: it ensures that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the unspoiled beauty and serenity of the natural valley that surrounds Eden Mill.

In March 2008, the State Board of Public Works approved state funding of $671,000 for the initiative, of which $375,000 came from the Program Open Space state share and the remaining $276,000 came from the Program Open Space local share allocated to Harford County. Closing the gap of the appraised value, the Harford Land Trust contributed $64,000 from its Land Preservation Fund.

Commenting on the support received from the State of Maryland for this Program Open Space initiative, County Executive David R. Craig stated, “We are pleased the Board of Public Works supported us with this project to enhance the Eden Mill Nature Center and Park. The acquisition of this property will add to the beauty of Eden Mill.”

The Harford Land Trust Board of Directors felt its financial contribution and commitment of its staff time for negotiations were well within its mission of helping landowners, private and public, to conserve land and protect the natural resources, scenic beauty, rural character, and a healthy way of life in Harford County.

“I’m very excited that we have played a critical rule in the preservation of this property. Nearly doubling the Nature Center in size, it will provide expanded opportunities for school children, families, canoeists, hikers, and birders to learn about our natural world and grow in appreciation and respect,” said Harry Webster, Jr., Harford Land Trust board president.