History

The Rockburn Land Trust (RLT) was established in 1989 after a historic preservation easement in central Maryland:

In the Patapsco Valley area in 1982, The Smithsonian Institution sold the 85-acre Belmont Manor to the American Chemical Society for a public retreat center. The remaining 254 acres were purchased by Patapsco State Park. Soon after, four neighboring land owner families––Chalmers, Schumacher, Servary, and Gaynor––came together, and in 1989 placed their combined 100 acres under a perpetual conservation easement with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET).

After this historic preservation easement, the four neighbors then led the creation of a new land trust to help smaller parcel owners establish easements and conserve their land. The original name was the Rockburn-Morning Choice Historical Conservation District Land Trust, and its first easement was in 1990. It is now called the Rockburn Land Trust (RLT), a not for profit organization and the second land trust in Maryland.

In 2016, RLT worked with Howard County Recreation and Parks--the new owner of Belmont--and the MET to achieve a perpetual preservation easement on Belmont’s core 68 acres.

Over the last three decades, RLT has accepted easements for approximately 125 acres on numerous properties. Excluding Patapsco State Park, there were no acres of perpetually preserved conservation easement land in the Maryland’s Patapsco Valley before 1989. Working with the MET, over 285 acres of land, including Belmont Manor, is now protected.