Did you know there are 100’s of different shades of Green? Collectively Green represents new growth and rebirth. This may be the reason that we all feel so happy & energized when we spend time in the outdoors.
Friends, watch this video to discover the beauty of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, a Sussex County Land Trust project that made it possible to bring the county, and state resources together around the issues of natural resources, conservation, climate change, and the impact of humankind on nature.
Heidi Gilmore, Sussex County Land Trust Chairwoman, is an absolute advocate of protecting natural, cultural, agricultural and recreational resources through land preservation in Sussex County. Here’s what Casey Kenton, SCLT Secretary, had to say about his dear colleague and friend:
“Heidi is an incredible civic leader for both the Trust and for Sussex County. She is extremely passionate about the Trust’s mission and the Board could not have selected a better individual to serve as the Chair of our organization.
Furthermore, Heidi is well respected in her profession as a real estate land use attorney and is well liked by her peers, simply because she demonstrates confidence, honesty and integrity. But most importantly, Heidi loves Sussex County and truly wants to make a difference in advancing the mission of the Trust and making Sussex County a better place to live for everyone and future generations to come.”
“I think everyone reaches a point in their life when they want to give back to the community. You have a little time and interest in something and you put your action into participation in a way that you make a difference. No matter how little or how big, you start.” said Heidi.
Casey Kenton, the Sussex County Land Trust Secretary, is definitely one of those great people who is dedicating a lot of his time, resources and hard work to promote the Sussex County Region. And he does it with so much passion that even if you are new to the area, you will want to explore it and definitely spend some time around. KUDOS, Casey, you rock!
This is what Heidi Gilmore, the SCLT Chairman, had to say about her friend and colleague:
“Casey, who was born and raised in Sussex County, was a natural person to lead the Land Trust over the past 6 years. Casey is the type of person that has deep roots in our County and his many interests in our local area reveal a multitude of hidden treasures our area has to offer. If Casey is flying over our area exploring through his love of being a pilot, he is always sharing a photo from high above. If Casey is driving across the State for work, he will stop and share something historic he found along his way. His love for banjo playing links us to a world gone by. I have such respect for the many layers of this fine, young man who leads the way in his profession and as a friend to many. His leadership of the Land Trust enabled the Trust to grow and connect with so many people. I hope the Trust can continue to reveal its many possible, varied connections for preservation to our County that were bloomed under his tenure.”
The renovation of the 1880sWolfe House was a great collaboration between the state and the land trust through a curatorship program. It’s a great restoration of a great property and grounds.” Mark Chura, Executive Director, SCLT.
The Wolfe House is an 18th century farm house that was once owned by the Wolfe Family and was part of a larger farm known as Wolfe Glade or the Wolfe Tract. The restoration of the historic structure was a partnership between the Sussex County Land Trust and the Delaware Division of Parks when the Trust spearheaded the capital fundraising required to restore the house to its present condition. The property and lands surrounding the house are owned by the DE Division of Parks and the Trust has the pleasure of serving as a curator to the house and immediately surrounding lands. The Wolfe House now serves as the headquarters to the Sussex County Land Trust and is a great example of a private/public partnership
Over its 20-year history, the land trust has partnered with Sussex County Council, the State of Delaware and several nonprofit conservation agencies on 18 projects to preserve nearly 6,000 acres, including 2,000 acres of farmland, 2,000 acres of forest and 500 acres of wetlands.
Ladies and gentleman, friends and lovers of the outdoors and strong supporters of Sussex County preservation projects, today we are highlighting a great person that is using all his knowledge and resources to make sure all the Sussex County Land Trust are successful.
“Mark Chura has served as our Executive Director for the past five years and has been instrumental in reorganizing and leading the Trust to new opportunities to advance the mission. Having spent a career working within the State of DE in the Division of State Parks, Mark has extensive knowledge and experience in land planning, project management and intergovernmental relations. Throughout his career, he has established countless relationships throughout all three counties in Delaware and his experience and these relationships have made him a very effective Executive Director for the Sussex County Land Trust. Specifically, I will give him a big KUDOS for his leadership in helping us secure, negotiate and structure all of our valuable partners.” said Casey Kenton, Sussex County Land Trust.
Sussex County is unique and attractive to new residents due to its rural landscapes, natural features, low tax structure and large expanses of open space. Without preservation, the benefits and attraction to Sussex County could be outweighed by the loss of rural landscapes, lack of open space and traffic congestion. The Sussex County Land Trust strives to establish strategic partnerships with the development community to leverage the protection of meaningful open spaces.
Located on the south side of the Nanticoke River, the Nanticoke Crossing Park is a 41 acre property that was acquired by the Sussex County Land Trust in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy, Sussex County Council, Mt. Cuba Center, the U.S. Navy, DE Open Space Program and DE Div. of Fish and Wildlife. The property is situated on the bank of the Nanticoke River overlooking the historic Woodland Ferry terminal with 1,900’ of meandering shoreline. The acquisition serves as a successful landmark collaboration by inter-governmental and non-profit organizations to preserve land in Western Sussex County for conservation and recreational use. The Trust is now spearheading a masterplan concept for the future of the property and hopes to begin hosting events on this beautiful property as early as this year.
What a WONDERFUL county we have!
Constructed in 1727, the Cannon-Maston House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Sussex County and one of the only extant brick homes in Delaware from the eighteenth century. It sits on 59 acres with 37 tillable and 22 acres of woods and wetlands.
When the Cannon-Maston House was built, this area of Sussex County was still a part of Maryland. It did not become a part of Delaware until the American Revolution. In many of its details, the house’s construction is much more typical of Maryland styles than Delaware styles, serving as a reminder of the contentious early history of this part of the state.
The home and the surrounding 59 acres were acquired by the Sussex County Land Trust in partnership with Sussex County Council in 2006 and the Trust is now moving forward with the restoration of the historic home with long term plans to make the property a historical and cultural center for interpreting our region’s rich agricultural heritage, and as a host site for community events. Ickford Park is a 15-20 minute drive from Nanticoke Crossing and both are a part of the Nanticoke Heritage Byway.
Friends, join us in giving KUDOS to Ron!
Ron Vickers is a native Delawarean. He attended the University of Delaware, graduating with a degree in Entomology/Applied Ecology. He migrated south and received a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. He migrated back north to Delaware and worked for 32 years in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Parks and Recreation, retiring in September 2016. Since 2019 Ron’s been a Trustee on the Board of the Sussex County Land Trust and additionally he consults on land conservation projects. His son, Will, calls him a “land saver”.
Simply put, Ron Vickers is a guy you want on your team.
Ron recently spearheaded the Nanticoke Park acquisition and was pivotal in securing both public and private partners who successfully collaborated to protect a beautiful 41 acre property along the Nanticoke River which was endanger of being developed. In my opinion, Ron’s best attribute is his ability to listen and his thoughtfulness in taking all opinions into account. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ron and have learned a lot from him and his kind and thoughtful approach. The Sussex County Land Trust is extremely lucky to have such a talented individual on its board who truly understands the inner workings of Delaware as well as land preservation efforts.” Casey Kenton, Sussex County Land Trust
KUDOS to Russ McCabe!
“Russ contribution and value to the Sussex County Land Trustis unmatched. He is a proud Sussex Countian having spent his entire life here and is a great civic and community leader. Russ had a distinguished 30+ year career as the Director of DE State Archives and has more knowledge of Delaware history than anyone I know. His passion for history is contagious and he has an innate ability in connecting with people. Russ also had the pleasure of serving as Sussex County’s Recorder of the Deeds and has established countless relationships throughout his career. But most of all, everyone loves Russ for who he is as a person, his passion and knowledge for DE history and his infectious personality. The Trust could not be more fortunate to have Russ serve on its Board.” Casey Kenton- SCLD Secretary
And if this beautiful kudos still didn’t convince you of how much Russ loves Sussex County, we have more.
This is what Russ had to say about this beautiful region:
My involvement with Ickford began 20 years ago, when I accompanied representatives of the University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design during an examination of the Cannon-Maston House. It was obvious to all at the time, that the building and its surrounding lands, which have changed little over the past three centuries, were worthy of preservation for future generations. With the pace of change affecting our landscape accelerating in recent years, the importance of this effort has grown as well. As a Sussex Countian with a lifelong interest in the past who was fortunate to have a career preserving our state’s history and telling its stories, this project is truly a labor of love.
Russ, we APPRECIATE you!
Why is the Sussex County Land Trust relationship with the Sussex County so important and which are the new preservation projects to keep an eye on in the near future Find out more from our discussion with Todd Lawson, the Sussex County Administrator, and the manager for all the County government’s departments.