In 2013, the HLT acquired 54 acres adjacent to their Otter Creek property.
HLT Purchases Headwaters of Monk’s Creek
On July 10th 2013, settlement took place on a long-sought after property belonging to the family of Bob Ward on Willoughby Beach Road in Edgewood. The 54-acre parcel is adjacent to the 105-acre property donated to the Trust by Bob Ward in 1994. The trust paid $100,000 to acquire the property, considerably below the appraised value. This “bargain sale” was more affordable for the Trust and resulted in a tax benefit to the sellers. The property has a high preservation value to the U.S. Army, and they will give credit to the Trust for the purchase price against our next land preservation project within their targeted area. The Trust actively participates in the Army Compatible Use Buffer program, and plans to put that credit to good use.
Monk’s Creek flows from the Ward tract south through the Aberdeen Test site in Edgewood where it joins a western branch. From that point, it traverses east to the Bush River. The entire creek, including both freshwater feeder branches, is surrounded by wetlands. On the Trust's newly acquired property, non-tidal marshes and swamps are surrounded by a hardwood forest. On the APG property, the creek's path meanders like a loose ribbon, especially in the upper stretch, where the fresh water becomes brackish.
With the exception of the Amtrak line that forms the southern boundary of our property and slices through the creek, the plant communities along the creek look much like they did when Native Americans made temporary hunting camps for fishing and hunting. This vegetation helps protect the water quality of the creek because it removes sediment, nutrients and other pollutants from the nearby railroad, roadways and residential communities.
Monk’s Creek is habitat to many water bird species, including ducks, herons, rails, kingfishers, terns and more. When combined with our existing parcel, the two form a contiguous 158 acre unbroken forest cover providing habitat for a diverse community of birds that live in the interior forest, such as warblers, thrushes and woodpeckers. The watershed harbors a wide range of plants and animals, including unusual species of amphibians.
As with all of our properties, Monk’s Creek, as we have named it, will be open to the public for passive recreation and environmental studies.