Susan and Herbert Lesser

What better way to preserve this land we love. We feel very strongly that it has been the right decision.”

In March of 2020, Herb and Susan Lesser permanently preserved their beloved 17-acre home property with the donation of a conservation easement to the Harford Land Trust. The property has been part of Herb and Susan’s life for nearly 40 years. Their love for the land was a key motivation in their pursuit of preservation. The Lessers’ generous gift adds to more than 300 acres of nearby preserved land in Forest Hill and is part of a 50-acre forested block lined with numerous small streams.

The property was listed as a farmette, the little house a definite ‘fixer upper,’ the land meant for crops, goats and chickens. What sold us, because we were not farmers (at best, I was a mediocre gardener, Herb a city boy) was the greater part of the property which was woodlands. It awed us on that hot summer day– the coolness of it, the birds, the diverse vegetation and bigness of the mature trees towering and pushing the sky higher.

The real estate agent thought we were nuts. She had showier places she wanted us to see. Herb said, “We can always fix up an old house, but where can we get our own woods?” That was 36 years ago, July 1984.

Photo by Harford Land Trust

Every season has its trials, but also its beauty. What is better than to observe the new fawns in June, or the long days of summer with its green, green, green and glorious sunsets, butterflies on milkweed, birdsong at dawn? Or the fall’s slowing down with the arrival of the winter birds after the disappearance of the robins, thrushes, hummingbirds, phoebes and all the summer regulars?

Winter is sleepy for us and the trees; the wildlife that hasn’t left or gone under is busy seeking shelter and scratching for food. The deer sleep together in the woods, birds huddle in the evergreens; winter food is available naturally and at the feeders we keep stocked.

Then Spring, glorious Spring! It’s what we love most. We come alive, and at no other time do we feel so a part of the land. It’s these yearly cycles that mean so much to us: predictable, dependable, life affirming. 

All the creatures and all the trees need us to let them be, to acknowledge their value to the whole, their place in the continuity of a healthy earth. We feel an ethical obligation to respect and preserve the kaleidoscope of life around us for we are all a part of it and will perish without it.

What better way to preserve this land we love than to let it remain in Nature’s care under the guidance of the Harford Land Trust in the form of a conservation easement. We feel very strongly that it has been the right decision.

Susan Lesser

Photo by Judy Dettner

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Harford Land Trust can save more land in Harford County, Maryland, because of generous people like you.

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