Rick and Kathy Abend, owners of Abend Hafen Farm in Dorchester County, have been members of ESLC since 1992. The German name of their farm translates to “Evening Haven.” The preserved 106-acre sanctuary is well named, as it is certainly a haven for the Abends as well as their dogs, cat and chickens.
The Abends grow corn and soybeans, and they steward the forested areas of their property for wildlife habitat and for timber. After a recent harvest, they planted thousands of pine seedlings, among which oak and other hardwoods have sprouted. As the forest grows, the hardwoods will provide mast such as acorns for turkey and deer.
A large pond and shallow impoundments are frequented by wood ducks and other waterfowl, while nesting platforms invite osprey and eagles.
Rick first learned of ESLC when he was teaching a class about quail. There he met Rob Etgen, Executive Director of ESLC, who was invited to speak about conservation easements.
With the rich diversity of habitats he was creating on his farm, Rick was considering how he might preserve the environmental legacy he was creating there and was intrigued by the idea of protecting the land in perpetuity.
Rick was pleased that he could write into his conservation plan timber harvest, along with protection of wildlife habitat. The Abends did protect their land, and have been proud ESLC members ever since.