Solebury Township landowners discuss their personal experiences with land preservation—the comments below reflect only a few of the thoughts recorded that day.
Mr. Stuart Teacher (Burgess Lea): We feel a responsibility for owning this special property. It is a very public property, and well known. We view our living at Burgess Lea, as we will be the ones who will change, not the property.
Ruth Ann & Michael Wilson (Carversville): We fell in love with the majestic trees and diversity of our woods over 22 years ago. We are pleased that the Township’s Land Preservation program has provided a means for us to assure that future generations of Solebury residents will also enjoy this property even if they are only passing by. We hope they will grow to appreciate it as much as we have. By gifting our easement we wanted to show by example what others might do to save their properties from future development and that collectively small tracts of land can make a difference.
Michael Wilson: We’re pleased to donate the development rights on this property that we’ve loved, cared for, and enjoyed for so many years. We are hopeful that our gift will encourage others to do the same. Preservation of small but divisible lots can have a profound effect on the open space of our township.
Dick and Meredith Glover (Marsh Gibbon): We’re constantly getting letters from developers. It’s nice to know that we’ll never see any development in our fields.
Ed McArdle (Tollgate Farm): We feel privileged to be the hands-on custodian and grounds-keeper of such an awesome piece of land, enjoying its deep meadows, distant woods, farmland, streams, pond and wild and domestic animals. The wonderful old buildings – the middle portion of the main house, the springhouse, smoke house and bank barn – and the old giant trees are just as they were long, long ago. Placing the property in ‘land preservation’ will insure that this natural beauty and piece of history will move into the future virtually unchanged and be an extension of historic Carversville Village.
Arthur Imperatore, Jr. (Spring Hill Farm): My father bought the land from the previous owners who were descendants of the original Penn grantees, shown in a 1716 deed. The sellers wanted the land to be owned by someone who would not develop and so he promised that he would not. I reminded my father of this promise to the sellers. There is no doubt in my mind that this is special property. We feel that we don’t ‘own’ the land, but maintain it for future generations.
Don Fitting: I was born on the farm and grew up here. My biggest worry is what would happen around me … but most of my neighbors have preserved their land, too. A year after I preserved my land, another landowner, who was considering preserving his land and later did so, asked me if I was glad I had placed an easement on my land. To anyone who asks if I would do it all over again, I answer that I would do the same thing immediately.
Constance Plumb (Faraway Farm): My husband and I thought about how to preserve our land and considered options and decided upon the Township program. Thanks to Township officials who have been diligent about preserving Solebury, we are making progress. I feel that preserving our land is the best thing I ever did in my whole life. It was very important to my husband, too. Those of us fortunate enough to come under the Township program’s protection have a strong obligation to work hard to promote the preservation of this lovely township.
Ken and Georgianna Coles (Spring Oak Farm, Bradshaw Farm): Land preservation is an investment in history. It allows natural resources to remain available to current and future generations. It allows farmers to continue to work the soil. We are fortunate to be able to use the land in our business. Preserving land saves taxpayers money as fewer services are needed. It is a winning solution for us all!
Marjorie Crooks: I think it’s very important to have the property under easement for the future of our family land and the community. It’s a small property, but an integral part of the Honey Hollow watershed.
John Sylvester: I wanted to preserve this land for my children and grandchildren and for all the future generations of Solebury. It gives me great pleasure to know that now and 100 years from now, that people passing by will be able to see an authentic Bucks County farm. Deer Brook Farm as it is today will remain that way forever. Working with the Land Preservation Committee property representative Sue Kroupa and the Committee was a great experience and made the transaction very easy for us.
Charlotte Raymond: For many of us in the Raymond Family, it is the fulfillment of a thirty-year long dream: To preserve the land from development, to allow wildlife and nature to live harmoniously, and to protect views we all have come to enjoy and love, for generations to come. Even if it is just a tiny oasis in a very big world, it represents an important step forward in the process of land preservation. Whether it is the mountains of Utah or the farms of Pennsylvania, every little bit we can do moves us in the right direction and makes a real difference.
Parts of the above comments include paraphrasing by Barbara Drew of the Solebury Township Land Preservation Committee