Patricia Melville


53.4 acres of open fields, woodlands, tidal marsh and emergent wetlands in Lothian, Md.

What she loves about her land

My husband and I purchased the land because it had a combination of open and forested areas. The marsh along the creek was an added bonus. I especially appreciate the variety of habitat so necessary for wildlife, especially birds. The land provides spaces for walking, birding, and bird banding.

Why she wanted to conserve her land

I wanted to preserve the land without the possibility of development occurring…the land is close to the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and two other conserved lands. Most of the land was taxed as agricultural, and that rate could be maintained with the property in a conservation easement. The income tax benefit was appreciated but was not a major factor in my decision.

On her experience with Scenic Rivers

The process of working with Scenic Rivers went very smoothly. In addition, faced with uncertainty about whether Congress would renew the income tax benefit, the staff expedited the procedure so that the deed could be recorded before the end of the calendar year. Because my property was the 50th easement held by Scenic Rivers, there was significant publicity around my easement. The staff persuasively overcame my reluctance for publicity, and we embarked on interviews and newspaper articles, followed later by my participation in a promotional video. I am now a member of the Board of Directors.