A scenic Harford County property has been permanently protected under a conservation easement between the Harford Land Trust and Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Harford Land Trust gifted the easement on the 61-acre woodland to ensure the protection of its unique ecological resources and scenic viewshed along Willoughby Beach Road in Edgewood.
“We’re pleased to partner with Harford Land Trust to expand the permanent protection of the scenic and ecological health of this unique property,” Maryland Environmental Trust Director Bill Leahy said. “Without local partners like Harford Land Trust, we would not be able to accomplish our mission for long term stewardship of Maryland’s lands.”
The property, known as Monk’s Creek, is across the road from the Otter Creek Preserve, which the Harford Land Trust also protected with a conservation easement donation to Maryland Environmental Trust earlier this year.
The initial Monk’s Creek property was sold to the Harford Land Trust by the family of Bob Ward in 2013. The land trust later purchased three smaller “infill” parcels from Upper Chesapeake Hospice House, Gail and Eugene Stewart, and Anna and Robert Koscielski, with support from the U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground. The property hosts one of two headwaters of Monk’s Creek that flows to the Bush River.
“Acquiring these parcels took the cooperation of four landowners, funding by the U.S. Army and generous donations of our members,” Harford Land Trust Executive Director Kristin Kirkwood said. “We value our strong partnership with the Maryland Environmental Trust and look forward to continued collaboration.”
This tract of deciduous woodlands and associated vernal pools is a natural community known as flatwoods. The pools, some the size of small ponds, provide breeding and feeding habitat for a large number of amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles and waterfowl. The woodland is also habitat for many bird species, such as the Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher, Hairy Woodpecker and Kentucky Warbler.