Photo by David Hobby

One of the county's crown jewels, the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock is 232 preserved acres in a county that sees near constant pressure for residential development.

That the conservancy is of great value is beyond question. It's mission -- preservation, education and ecological study -- helps it to attract over 6,000 schoolchildren every year. The local history on display is a window that reaches back to 1692, when the farmhouse was originally built. In addition to educational programs, the grounds host meetings, weddings and public events. And the conservancy's network of trails offer a publicly accessible escape from suburbia into quiet fields and woodlands.

On November 2nd, a group of 15 local photographers volunteered to create an photographic archive to donate to the conservancy. The primary goal was to give the caretakers the visual materials to aid in their $500,000.00 capital development program, the funds from which will be used to secure the institution's future.

Photo by Chris Brown

Photo by Lisa Dierolf

Photo by Theano Nikitas

Photo by Erik Couse

Photo by John Milleker

Photo by Eric Vance

Photo by David Moss

Photo by Jeff Snyder

Photo by Chris Brown

Photo by Dave Kile

More than ten thousand photos that were taken during the day. They were edited down to an archive of 250 images, which will serve as a stock photography library for the conservancy's visual needs. A very small selection is shown above.

The majority of the photographers were amateurs. As the project picture editor, I was amazed at what came back at the end of the day.

Seriously, a bluebird arriving at lunch? And is it me, or are the frog and the goat smiling? And the landscapes seemed almost magical.

This project is a example of advocacy journalism, in which HoCo360 is an enthusiastic participant. The purpose is twofold -- to educate people about their community while providing something of value for the target organization.

For more information, visit their website for information on public programs, how to donate or to download a map of public trails.

HoCo Conservancy Archive contributing photographers:

Rehan Bashir, Chris Brown, Erik Couse, Lisa Dierolf, Madeleine Gray, David Hobby, John Kim, Dave Kile, John Milleker, Tali Mindek, Dave Moss, Theano Nikitas, Ben Sledge, Jeff Snyder and Eric Vance

Tags: Made in HoCo, Create, Sense of Place, Day in the Life, Sustain

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