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Land Conservancy preserves 10 acres in Mount Joy Township

Marti Shaw

Adams County Land Conservancy

(8/2016) "The more we preserve, the better off we are—and the better off the world is." Speaking like a true preservationist, Mount Joy Township resident Carol Holtz lives by her words. Holtz recently preserved her 10-acre property through the Land Conservancy of Adams County.

Developments that had been proposed in her neighborhood had caused her concern about pollution, congestion, and stresses on groundwater. Since Holtz had inherited her property from her parents, who had only owned this one property in their lives, the land has always been special to her, and she wanted to protect it.

Before preserving her property, Holtz had to work through some misconceptions about land preservation. She thought her land would be owned by the Land Conservancy after her passing. But thanks to a neighbor who owns preserved property nearby, Holtz learned that after preservation, she and her heirs would continue to own the land until they chose to sell it to someone else.

Like many others, Holtz also was not clear about the relationship between property enrolled in the Adams County "Clean and Green" program and property preserved by the Land Conservancy. She learned that the two programs are completely separate, and that preserving land does not alter her local taxes in any way.

After gaining clarity on these common misconceptions, Holtz called the Land Conservancy office to start the preservation process. Land Conservation Coordinator Adam Boyer gave Holtz a sample easement document, which she read carefully. Holtz was pleased to learn that the terms of each easement can be arranged to the desires of the landowner, so she asked for several revisions and added provisions preventing drilling and pipeline installation on her land.

When the easement document fully satisfied her desires for her land, Holtz was ready to donate her easement. About two-thirds of properties preserved through the Land Conservancy are through easements donated by landowners, which means that the landowner is not compensated financially for limiting development rights on their land.

Although 10 acres is not that large compared to other preserved properties, Holtz recognized that her property is part of a bigger picture. With several other preserved properties in the vicinity, preserving her land increases the impact of open space in her area. Holtz’s land provides habitat for deer, turkeys, and many birds, including an indigo bunting, towhee, cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees, and tufted titmouse.

And since the property contains headwaters for Little’s Run, preserving her land also helps protect water quality in the area. Holtz noted that a student from St. Francis Xavier Catholic School came out to test the water on her property as part of a school project on water quality—and hers was the highest quality the student tested, a point of pride for Carol.

Holtz is happy to have her property preserved in perpetuity, not only for the benefits provided to the community, but to honor her parents in a meaningful way.

18th Annual Road Rally to Honor Adams County’s First Responders

The 18th annual running of the Land Conservancy of Adams County’s fall classic Road Rally is set for Saturday, Oct. 15 and will celebrate the county’s first responders.

John Eline, director of the Adams County Department of Emergency Services, will serve as honorary Rally Master for the event, in which participants motor along Adams County’s scenic back roads at the peak of fall colors, learning about the importance of land preservation in the county as well as the many ways the county’s emergency services professionals and volunteers protect and serve local residents.

Corporate sponsorships for the Rally are available to interested organizations and businesses. Sponsorships start at $300 ($200 for nonprofits) and include free Road Rally registration and Finish Line party tickets for up to four people as well as recognition in the Rally’s full-color program and website, a magnetic car sign for the Rally team, and other benefits.

Not a race, the Land Conservancy Road Rally invites contestants to vie instead for the prestigious Conservancy Cup, adorned with its coveted "fuzzy dice." Rally teams travel Adams County’s public roads, traversing its unparalleled landscape while following numbered route instructions and looking for clues to find its hidden treasures. No experience is necessary to participate, and speed is not a factor. Participants are judged on their ability to follow directions, find and solve clues, and arrive at the finish line with the most correct answers.

The Rally concludes with a Finish Line party featuring food, entertainment, door prizes, sponsor recognition, and awards for top-performing teams. Rally teams must preregister, and early registration is encouraged for this popular community event. A maximum of 60 teams may compete, and team registration closes October 3. The Rally is held rain or shine.

The Land Conservancy is an accredited, member-supported nonprofit organization committed to helping landowners preserve farms, orchards, stream valleys, and outdoor recreational resources for our children and generations to come. For more information about the Land Conservancy—and sponsoring and/or participating in its 18th annual Road Rally, visit

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