Land-preservation projects deserve support

April 28, 2023

As the Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The same could be said about land preservation in Sussex County. 

If we could go back in time, there’s no doubt we would preserve more land, particularly in eastern Sussex County. But the past is the past, and we must look forward. 

There is now a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure nearly 120 acres of prime developable land is preserved for future generations

The Greater Lewes Foundation, the Sussex County Land Trust and the Open Space Alliance, working as partners, have secured agreements to acquire the 30-acre Fourth Street Forest in Lewes and the 89-acre Ard na Gréine property between New Road and Savannah Road just outside Lewes limits. The price is not cheap at $18 million, but the parcels are being offered at a discount in exchange for the promise of preservation. The circumstances are uniquely aligned to make this opportunity achievable and necessary. 

Fundraising efforts have already begun, and the collective is expecting to receive money from a variety of sources, including preservation groups, all levels of government and private donors. Individual donations will be key to getting this project across the finish line. By showing strong monetary support for the projects, the partnership can leverage those dollars to get what it needs in grants from foundations or public dollars from the government. With so many people decrying the loss of land to houses, this is a perfect opportunity for individuals to contribute to a solution. 

By showing the community that a collaborative effort can actually work, more preservation projects can happen down the road. Tree conservation, outdoor passive recreation and natural beauty will be enhanced by this partnership.  

We encourage anyone who is able to contribute to this project. To learn more or to schedule a community informational meeting, call Open Space Alliance Campaign Manager Pam Costanzi at 302-644-0107.


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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