138 Acres Preserved for Recreation in Kent County, Delaware
June 22, 2010
Kesselring Farm. Photo by Chita Middleton/The Conservation Fund
Dover, DE — Today, The Conservation Fund, the Del-Mar-Va Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Kent County Levy Court announced the preservation of 138 acres adjacent to Dover—one of the few remaining large undeveloped tracts in close proximity to the city.
“Through a unique partnership, we have preserved this property and created new places for children, residents and visitors to reconnect with nature and experience the great outdoors,” said Blaine Phillips, mid-Atlantic director of The Conservation Fund. “We are grateful to the Kesselring family, the Boy Scouts, the Kent County Levy Court and the Mt. Cuba Center for supporting this effort that will positively impact the quality of life for current and future generations.”
The Conservation Fund purchased the property from the Kesselring family. Eighty-five acres will be transferred to the Del-Mar-Va Council Boy Scouts, which plans to create its peninsula headquarters on the site and conduct youth camping activities. Kent County will acquire the remaining land, about 53 acres, for outdoor recreation and a trail system connecting to a nearby county park.
“This farm has been in the Kesselring family for nearly 110 years, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to take it in a new direction, one that reflects our family’s vision to preserve the land for future generations,” said Jane Kesselring Edwards, on behalf of the Kesselring family. “This perfect collaboration began with the creative leadership of The Conservation Fund, which corralled unique resources and brought the Boy Scouts and Kent County together. It has been our pleasure to work with all these ‘white hats’ who share a common vision, and we appreciate everyone’s tenacious and honorable efforts.”
“This unique holding will offer youth on the peninsula outdoor experiences in a setting completely unlike our other properties,” said Bruce Jones, former board president of the Del-Mar-Va Council Boy Scouts. “This oasis of open space is surrounded by urban development in a key strategic location on major routes of travel from all directions. We look forward to utilizing this land to offer the character building programs of the Boy Scouts of America to our local neighbors and to visitors from across the peninsula.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to see what was once a distant dream become a wonderful reality,” remarked Kent County Administrator Mike Petit de Mange. “This acquisition represents a major addition to a premier community asset at Brecknock County Park, which could not have been possible without the patient and unwavering resolve of the Kesselring family to see this significant land remain as open space. We are also very grateful for our partners at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, The Conservation Fund and the Boy Scouts of America, who have all contributed to make this possible.”
Mt. Cuba Center, a non-profit horticultural institution dedicated to the study of plants native to the Piedmont region and land conservation, provided partial funding for the acquisition. “This acquisition represents the ongoing efforts by the Mt. Cuba Center to protect open space in Delaware,” said Charles Copeland, vice president of Mt Cuba Center. “We are very excited to have been able to work with great partners on a creative approach to conservation that will provide long-term benefits to both the Boy Scouts and the residents of Kent County.”
Additional supporters and partners include Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and Kent County Levy Court.
About the Del-Mar-Va Council, Boy Scouts of America
The Del-Mar-Va Council provides Scouting opportunities throughout the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula, serving approximately 388 units and over 4,500 volunteers who are delivering the promise to over 10,000 youth in traditional Scouting programs. An additional 6,410 youth are being served through the Learning for Life Division of the Council. The Council covers fourteen counties and is divided into 8 Scouting districts.
About Kent County Levy Court
Kent County Levy Court, founded in 1655, is one of the oldest forms of local government in the United States. As the County governing body, Levy Court endeavors to preserve, protect, and enhance community character in Central Delaware by promoting the most appropriate use of land, water, and other resources in the public interest. The County continually strives to achieve and maintain a well balanced, healthy and sustainable landscape for its residents and visitors through a system of comprehensive planning and the provision of essential services including sanitary sewer services, emergency medical services, library services, and parks and recreation facilities and programs.
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.