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Bird sanctuary at risk & for sale

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  • Dean Kendall
    Dear fellow birders, Please forgive my stretching this listserv s rules, but it s an emergency, and I know of no other way to reach most of you. The home-made
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2008
      Dear fellow birders,

      Please forgive my stretching this listserv's rules, but it's an emergency,
      and I know of no other way to reach most of you.

      The home-made bird sanctuary that was my mom's, a 25 acre farm in southeast
      PA, must be sold to pay off creditors and is at risk of destruction by
      "development". I'm trying to get a conservation easement and find a caring
      buyer in order to protect it. Below is an appeal I'm circulating, which
      spells out the situation and what's needed.

      But to add a further note about the farm's birds, which are abundant
      year-round: during Fall migration Warblers in particular frequent the area
      around the yard and gardens, including the bird baths, from early August
      into Oct, a daily record of which has been kept by my mother and then myself
      for over 40 yrs. Many of those records are published in "A Century of Bird
      Life in Berks County PA", for instance 44 occurrences of Connecticut Warbler
      between 1965 and 1994 (most of those at a ground-level bath less than 10'
      from an outbuilding made into observation blind). Connecticut continues to
      show up here, including 2 this Fall. So does Mourning Warbler, with at
      least 6 this season. A female Lawrence's this Sept 2, 3 and 7 was the first
      farm record. Birds wintering at the feeders have included Harris' Sparrow
      and, recently, Clay-colored and Dickcissel.

      A birder planning to move to this area could hardly find a more welcoming
      place to make their home! Likewise for a birding or bird-conservation
      organization looking for a project site (whether solo or in concert with
      groups focused on related issues, eg farmland preservation and organic

      If you or someone you know might be interested in buying, have leads or
      suggestions, or otherwise want to help, please get in touch with me off-list
      via the contact info on the appeal below.

      Please also consider forwarding this appeal to your personal networks. If
      you would like a nicely formatted html version for that, let me know and I
      will happily email one to you (including, if you like, with attached pdf for
      printouts). It's also available online (altho with additional cover note,
      which you could delete) at http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/USA/DeanFarm.htm


      Dean Kendall
      Leesport, PA



      ~For Sale and At Risk~

      25 acres of farmland & forest in Berks County, PA - the bird sanctuary of
      the late Anna Kendall - is for sale and at risk of destruction, i.e.

      ~What's At Stake~

      Centuries-old White Pines crowned with nests of Red-tailed Hawk and Great
      Horned Owl ... Oak woods shading Lopseed and May Apple, Ring-necked Snake
      and Red-backed Salamander ... hayfields livened by Red Fox and skimming
      Swallows, and - where flooded in Spring - by a chorus of American Toad and
      Spring Peeper ... thickets with Giant Solomon Seal and Jumping Mouse, Wood
      Sage and White-tailed Deer ... huge Black Locusts and the throng of
      Woodpeckers housed by them ... half a hundred species of nesting birds, and
      another hundred that winter or dally in migration to rest and refuel ...
      organic vegetable gardens enriched over decades and bumper crops of wild
      Raspberry, Walnut and Hickory.

      ~Who Is Concerned~

      Birders, naturalists and other lovers of wild plants and animals.
      Neighbors, friends, family. People concerned about preserving farmland,
      open space and places where wildlife can thrive. Supporters of organic
      farming and people who just want to eat unpoisoned food. People concerned
      with global warming and parents who want to leave a livable planet for their
      children. In other words, ALL OF US!


      to purchase the land and protect it forever for wildlife and organic

      How to help:

      * Buy or help find buyers who care about the land.

      * Volunteer to help with this campaign.

      * Donate to the Anna Kendall Farm & Wildlife Fund. To make a tax-deductible
      donation via Women in Dialogue, a nonprofit organization that is acting as
      fiscal sponsor for the fund, go to:
      Please enter "Farm Fund" under Designation. Or you can send a check payable
      to Women in Dialogue, PO Box 11795, Phila PA 19101 (please write "Farm Fund"
      in the memo).

      To view interactive map of the land:

      If you would like to discuss purchase or partnership, make a large donation,
      have ideas or want to get involved in this effort, please phone or email:

      Dean Kendall deankendall@... 610-926-5883 Leave message at

      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Appeal From a Naturalist/humanist's Son

      As many know, my mother Anna Kendall - a much loved resident of Berks Co.,
      PA who passed away in May of 2006 - was a true friend of birds and other
      wildlife, and of humankind as well. Devoted to inspiring in others,
      especially children, the love and responsibility she felt toward the natural
      world, she was a grassroots pioneer of the environmental movement long
      before it had that name.

      On the family farm near Leesport where she lived from 1952 until her death,
      she put her 'money' (so to speak, as her family had little) where her heart
      and mouth were, working hard to make her home as inviting to wildlife -
      birds in particular, a special life-long love - as for her family. As a
      result the Kendall farm, with the loving support of Anna's husband Vernon
      until his death in 1990 (and then of her son Dean - myself), has been a
      refuge for birds and other wildlife for the last half century. But now that
      farm and refuge - and its actual and potential benefits to all of us - is
      threatened with destruction by "development".

      Already there are subdivisions in process and planned on nearby land - which
      many people oppose but nonetheless have gone ahead. Over the last years of
      her life, Anna watched in anguish and outrage as such neighboring land was
      put to the blade by developers. Had she known of a way to ensure that her
      homemade sanctuary would never meet such a fate, it would have happened
      while she lived. But aside from trusting in her heirs, she knew of none.
      It was only after her death that the family learned - from the estate lawyer
      - that the farm could indeed be protected from development, by way of
      donating a Conservation Easement to a Land Trust. Lehigh Valley Wildlands
      Conservancy, despite the farm being outside their core area, has agreed to
      accept such a donation and thereby become legally bound to protecting the
      farm in perpetuity. But to proceed with that, enough money must be raised
      through sale of the farm and donations to pay off the creditors.

      The farm consists of 25 acres, of which 8 acres are tillable fields (now
      mostly in hay) and the rest mostly woods, a 1930s-vintage Sears and Roebuck
      wood-frame house, organic vegetable gardens and some outbuildings. I am
      looking for caring individuals or organizations to purchase the
      easement-protected farm and continue the principles and practice of my
      mother's stewardship - ideally in partnership with me; and for a foundation
      and/or other benefactors to bring that within reach by donating the
      difference between the price such buyers can afford, and the price that the
      creditors could get by selling for development.

      If you believe that it's not right that the work of those who care for and
      nurture the land should be thrown away. And that it's not right that the
      myriad creatures whose lives depend on that land should count as nothing.
      And that so much of what humankind needs for survival and well-being has
      already been lost, that saving even the least bits of what remains is
      crucial. Then please help save this farm. Though not large, it is very rich
      in life, particularly birdlife, and in ability to sustain life for both
      humankind and our fellow creatures. It's eminently worth saving.

      Please contact me if you can help in any way.

      Dean Kendall,
      Loving son, of his mother Anna and of our mother Earth
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