Some preservation projects undertaken by the Land Conservancy of Adams County are more impactful than their acreage might suggest. A recent project preserving just 17 acres of woodland in Huntington Township is one example.
The Sauble and Weaver families work their land together as a partnership. Together, they donated an easement to the Land Conservancy on a 17-acre patch of woodland surrounded on both sides by farmland that was preserved at the same time through Adams County’s Agricultural Land Preservation Program. The county’s farmland easement preserves 106 acres, which in turn adjoins a 127-acre farm that the owners had previously preserved through the county. Thanks to the Sauble and Weaver families, a beautiful patch of 250 acres in Tyrone Township will be preserved forever as farmland and woodland.
The farm has been in the families for generations, and the owners’ thoughtful stewardship is evident everywhere, from careful streambank fencing and reinforced stream crossings to wide riparian buffers, grassed waterways, and no-till farming—all best practices for modern farms.
The two families are serious about improving water quality in nearby Bermudian Creek—which in the past had deteriorated due to pollution—and they are conscious of the fact that their actions have a direct impact on the Susquehanna River downstream.
And so the families are proud that their careful farming practices have helped improve the creek’s water quality to the extent that trout—which can only flourish in cool, pristine waters—now thrive in the Bermudian Creek again. Two tributaries of the creek weave through the newly preserved woodland, which in turn forms part of a wildlife corridor stretching along these streams to the Bermudian Creek proper, and then all the way to the edge of the county.
“We want to preserve the beauty of the farmland and provide a balance between that beauty and development,” Brenda Weaver said of the families’ motivation for preserving their farm. “They aren’t making any more land.”
But the families preserve more than land—they preserve history as well. In the early 1960s, two covered bridges near the farm were slated for replacement with modern flat bridges. One was replaced, but Brenda Weaver and Roxey Sauble’s father worked to preserve one of the bridges, swapping some of their land for the covered bridge. Today the historic covered bridge still spans the Bermudian Creek, thanks to the ongoing stewardship of these two far-sighted families.