Susquehanna County

Rockwell

Harmony Township • 95 Acres

Leigh Rockwell, a psychologist from Reading, Pennsylvania, confides that, as a boy, his father taught him to respect the land on their 95-acre Susquehanna County property. Leigh taught his own children to hunt and fish on the property, hoping to instill the same abiding respect for the natural world. When Leigh and his wife, Lynn, began to consider their estate plan, the idea of protecting their Harmony Township land was uppermost on their mind.

The Rockwells did not want their children ever to experience conflict over what to do with the property that has helped shape generations of their family. “You hear too many stories about siblings being unable to agree on uses for the family farm. Indeed, it might be unusual for children who live in different parts of the country, and in different settings to agree on the future of a jointly-owned property,” says Leigh. “With a conservation easement, we have defined what can be done with the land, and that makes us feel good about the future.”

The Rockwell property is in the northeastern corner of Susquehanna County. It hosts several wetland ecosystems necessary to support over 400 species of wildlife, and its conservation values include a large beaver pond, vernal pools, spring seeps and a man-made pond.

The unpolluted wetland ecosystems support diverse aquatic life such as dragonflies, damselflies, fish, reptiles, amphibians and even mammals. Several rare dragonfly species found include the slaty skimmer and lilypad clubtail. It’s not uncommon to observe basking painted turtles, wood ducks, tree swallows and kingfishers. Mammals such as river otters, beavers, muskrats and mink were also observed.

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