In addition to the conservation areas listed below, Delaware Wild Lands also purchased and protected the agricultural lands that surround Buena Vista Conference Center to the northeast and 700 acres of undeveloped shoreline and marsh at Angola Neck.
Delaware Wild Lands’ very first acquisition was the 80-acre Lane tract in the Trussum Pond area, a majestic and fragile area dominated by old growth cypress trees and ponds hidden under forested canopies reminiscent of the Old South. Recognizing the unique character and ecology of the area, Delaware Wild Lands consolidated 14 individual parcels and well over 1,000 acres of land in the James Branch area from 1961 through the mid-1970s. Then, in 1994, Delaware Wild Lands conveyed its Trussum Pond holdings to the State of Delaware as an addition to Trap Pond State Park so that visitors, canoeists, birders, and outdoor enthusiasts could marvel at the breath-taking beauty and bounty of this ecological treasure.
Delaware Wild Lands began acquiring land along the St. Jones River with the purchase of the 2,021-acre Logan Lane Farm in 1967. This property’s abundant tidal salt marsh, freshwater ponds, forestland, agricultural land, and historic structures represent the diversity and magnitude of the cultural, historical, and natural features that make this property exceptional and unique. Two notable firsts are attributed to this property: a portion of this farm was included in the first Duke of York land grant and Town Point, the plantation home which dates back to the year 1677, is the first site of the Kent County Court House. Delaware Wild Lands later purchased the Buckaloo and Roberts properties that lie on the other side of the St. Jones River and conveyed both tracts to the State of Delaware. In 1985, the State of Delaware honored Delaware Wild Lands’ founder for his dedicated conservation of these critical natural areas by naming this collection of properties the Ted Harvey Conservation and Wildlife Management Area.
Even in the 1960s, development of land resources along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay was prolific and spreading rapidly westward. In an effort to save the upland forests and wetlands of Angola Neck, and one of the last remaining open lands in Sussex County’s coastal area, Delaware Wild Lands purchased 347 acres on the western shore of Rehoboth Bay in 1967. Later that year, we acquired 66 acres of woodland as an addition to our Angola Neck properties. In the following six years, Delaware Wild Lands acquired the Bookhammer and Perry properties ensuring that approximately 700 acres of shoreline and marsh would remain undeveloped forever.
In 2005, Delaware Wild Lands conveyed over 700 acres of our Angola Neck holdings to the State of Delaware to be managed as a nature preserve by the State of Delaware Department of Delaware Parks & Recreation.