Earl Keen was a veteran of WWII, and a paratrooper who jumped into various European sites, including Normandy on D-Day. He found great enjoyment in feeding local birds and in watching the local wildlife from his back porch. He was concerned, though, about what would happen when he no longer lived in his house at 136 West Marshall Avenue in Langhorne Borough. Would a developer buy the 2-acre field behind his house and try to build on it? Mr. Keen wanted to keep his property intact and to continue living in his home, which is located in the borough’s historic district. The idea troubled Mr. Keen, and when he was nearing 90 years of age, he contacted Langhorne Open Space to see if we could help with his dilemma.
The solution that LOSI and Mr. Keen arrived at was for LOSI to purchase the development rights on the field behind his house. This kept the field in Mr. Keen’s hands, but also meant that the deed to the property would carry with it a conservation easement protecting his field from future development. Because the property continues under private ownership, it remains on the municipal property tax rolls.
Until his death a few years later – Mr. Keen had the peace of mind of knowing that his beloved field and the wildlife that lived on it would be forever protected from development.