News & Updates from the Land Preservation Committee
By Merritt Pridgeon, VP of Sustainability
As the GVC celebrates its 25th year, it is important to remember that as a land trust organization, we are responsible for protecting our eased properties forever. Easements establish a legal partnership between the landowner and the GVC whereby the environmental value of the land is preserved permantly by limiting its uses. The Land Preservation Committee completed a successful easement monitoring event on May 31 as part of our conservation efforts and duties. Cindy Riley, realtor and owner of an eased property, generously invited us to set up a temporary headquarters in her office space, offering a central location for volunteers to pick up and later return monitoring files.
Ann Jones, our Director of Land Preservation, coordinated our monitoring day, first sending notice to our landowners and then guiding our volunteers through the monitoring process. She is the backbone of our program, keeping all of our records up to date, answering easement queries, training volunteers to serve as monitors, filing monitoring reports, communicating with our co-holders and landowners, connecting us to the other land trusts in Baltimore County, and generally doing her best to ensure that we fulfill our land trust duties.
Recently, to show our appreciation to owners of eased properties for entering into a preservation partnership with the GVC, GVC’s Membership Committee offered all 32 easement property owners a free lifetime GVC membership. GVC members receive discounted tickets to our annual fundraiser, an invitation to membership appreciation events such as canoeing on the Gunpowder, our twice yearly newsletter, and various other benefits.
In April, Jennifer Powers became the new chairperson of the Land Preservation Committee! Jen has been on the GVC Board for five years and also serves as GVC Board Secretary. She is an experienced environmental planner, and was instrumental in securing a grant for our committee through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistant Program of the National Park Service. Jen will be the point person in implementing this grant over the next couple of years!
Finally, in August, we received wonderful news that the Rural Legacy Board approved a Grant Reward of $170,000 for the Gunpowder Rural Legacy Area! The Maryland Rural Legacy funds land conservation easements on private property, and the GVC has established two areas as part of this program: the Gunpowder Rural Legacy Area and the Coastal Rural Legacy Area.