President Leventhal’s Remarks at the Fall Fun Fest
Held on October 17, 2015
An update on the Conservancy's actions over this past year:
At the end of 2013 we were given a 72 acre parcel, once known as the Fennell Tract, and since
renamed Broad Creek Woods. We immediately placed liability insurance on the land and posted
it. We then asked the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to undertake a Forest
Stewardship Plan, and upon its completion, it was immediately adopted by the Board of Trustees
for the Conservancy of Broad Creek. We are now committed to implement the recommendations
within that document as funds will allow. We also successfully petitioned the State and Prince
George’s County to reduce the property taxes on these parcels based on our non-profit status. In
addition, we successfully petitioned the County to expand the Broad Creek Historic District to
cover all of this property.
The Board has also just concluded an arrangement with the Maryland Environmental Trust to
have them hold a conservation easement on this property, thereby insuring its protection and its
visual character in perpetuity. This conservation easement has been signed by both parties and is
in process of being recorded.
The Board has also been trying to inquire as to the future of the Kaydot property (located next to
our property and fronting on Old Fort Road), which was one of the possible casino sites to be
located in Prince George's County. We are hoping since this was not the selected site, perhaps
the owners will be disposed to either allowing a preservation easement or to take a charitable
donation and donate the property to the Conservancy. This is a current task and we have not yet
been able to talk to the Parx Casino group of Philadelphia about their future interests in our area.
The Conservancy has continued to talk to the National Park Service to act more aggressively to
protect and be better stewards for both Want Water and Harmony Hall House. This is an on-going
effort which is both frustrating and strains the boundaries of common sense preservation. For
reasons beyond our understanding these highly historic and important resources are very low on
the list of programs/projects/and interest of the National Park Services National Capital East
Division. We will continue to push this issue with the NPS.
We have requested that the University of Maryland Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
Studies use the Board Creek Historic District as a class project to study preservation, tourism
potential, gateway features, etc. Hopefully this request can be accepted.
We are also trying to undertake at least one educational event a year for our members and the
general community. Last November we hosted a program on 17th and 18th century religious
postures and attitudes of Native Americans. It was held at St John’s Church and was well
attended and received many favorable comments.
The Conservancy has a number of plans and programs to organize and implement, but we are a
small volunteer organization based entirely, at the moment, on the Blanch Dubois theory of
economics namely, we survive due to the kindness of strangers.