GETTYSBURG, PA – Estelle King of Hanover recently gifted a conservation easement protecting a 50-acre parcel in Conewago Township to the Land Conservancy of Adams County. King and her late husband, Richard King, purchased the original 25-acre parcel, which includes the main house, several outbuildings, and a sprawling arboretum, from the Myers family in 1987. The main house, where the Kings raised their two daughters, was built in the early 20th century for Hanover Shoe Company co-founder C.N. Myers’s son, Robert Myers. The Kings then purchased an additional, adjacent 25 acres, which was at the time and remains today in agricultural production, from a neighbor in the early 2000s.
For King, who was already familiar with land trusts and had a “personal history of advancing conservancies and all they achieved,” protecting her property was an easy decision. “With so much building going on in the area, I really want to see the community remain agricultural, and it was important to me that this land continued to be actively farmed,” she said.
Located between Race Horse Road and Mount Pleasant Road on Route 194 south of Hanover, this property is next to a farm preserved by the county’s agricultural land preservation program and is across the street from another Land Conservancy-protected parcel. In a rapidly growing part of southeast Adams County, nearly a mile on both sides of this busy corridor will forever have the scenic farmland and open space that you see today.
Ten years ago, none of the land in Conewago Township was permanently protected. Then, in 2014, the county acquired conservation easements on over 450 acres that were part of the Sacred Heart Basilica (Conewago Chapel), some of which lie in neighboring Union Township. For reference, the Borough of McSherrystown, which is surrounded by the township, is about 320 acres in size. Now Conewago Township has over 1,300 acres preserved through the Land Conservancy or county program. With 420 acres currently proposed for or undergoing residential development, the recent preservation of contiguous farms ensures that this growing township will retain some of its rural character in perpetuity.
The Land Conservancy of Adams County is an accredited, member-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving the rural lands and character of Adams County, Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit PreserveAdams.org or call the office at (717) 334-2828.