Howland Preserve Committee and Ad Hoc Research Committee Meet

Posted on: November 11, 2011

The Howland Preserve Committee and the newly formed ad hoc Grey House Research Committee met recently to discuss plans for the grey farmhouse located on the 667 acre Howland Preserve. The Preserve is open dawn to dusk for passive recreation and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery along the Susquehanna River.

A few of the unique features of the Vosburg Neck (See aerial location maps below) are is its geology and geographical location which helps create a quite sanctuary along the Susquehanna very much isolated from surrounding development, road noise, traffic, light pollution and other outside influences. Also unique is that over 1000 acres of the neck is protected from any future development. So in a nut shell the Vosburg Neck is a wonderfully peaceful place in an otherwise busy world.

The committees are studying the potential of converting the Howland Preserve grey farmhouse into a research and lodging facility for institutions of higher education, environmental groups, artists, recreation groups, corporate retreat groups, and others interested in enjoying a beautiful and quite setting.

The grey house which was built in the 1800’s is now in need of a major overall if it is to be a viable and safe structure going forward. The house has been mothballed for the time being as plans are investigated. The committees are working on two fronts. First, to establish cost estimates for upgrading and converting the house into a lodge which could house approximately 10 to 15 people and second, to begin to establish a strategic plan and gain preliminary support from all interested stakeholders via a “Memorandum of Understanding. Once these two tasks are completed the committees will reconvene and decide how best to move forward. Obviously funding for the project will be a key component to be discussed.

The committees feel that with all the new development taking place in the region due to the expansion of the natural gas extraction industry there exists and opportunity to develop this research facility concept. Such a facility would provide a base of operation for any one or any organization interested in conducting research in the region. The facility would also provide a quite haven for those interested in enjoying a quiet and natural environment along the banks of the Susquehanna River.

For additional information about the Howland Preserve or the proposed research facility please contact North Branch Land Trust.

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