In 1990, a small group of citizens concerned about land conservation founded the Howard County Conservancy. Within 25 years, their organization has become a regional leader for environmental education and stewardship.
In addition to preserving open space throughout the county, the Woodstock-based conservancy now houses several historic buildings and community gardens and runs nature camps, guided hikes and a thriving outdoor education program, covering everything from stream and soil health to biodiversity.
"I still think it's one of the county's best-kept secrets," says Ned Tillman, former president of the Howard County Conservancy Board of Directors. "It gives people a great sense of history, as well as nature, and it will hopefully inspire them to become better stewards."
This year, as the conservancy celebrates its 25th anniversary, we take a look back at its early days, how it has evolved and what's ahead for this growing nonprofit.
Foundations in farming
Land for learning
Ripe for growth
10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock
Open Wednesday through Saturday
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grounds and hiking trails are
open daily from dawn to dusk.
6553 Belmont Woods Road, Elkridge