Bok Family Expands Trail and Conservation on Ragged Mountain
Mary Bok, who lives along the slope of Ragged Mountain, recently completed two closely related conservation projects to further conserve the northern end of Ragged Mountain and ensure the public’s long-term access to this beautiful land. Georges River Land Trust is pleased to announce the permanent protection of 28 acres of woodland along the Georges Highland Path on Ragged Mountain in Camden.
The property includes an original easement which provides public access for trail users, along with 2.7 acres added in an updated amendment to the easement that will grant additional access opportunities. At the same time, Coastal Mountains Land Trust is thrilled to have received a 12-acre donation of land from the Bok family which allows the space needed for a critical section of the future Round the Mountain Trail as it rounds the northern end of Ragged Mountain.
Seventeen years ago, Tony and Mary Bok approached Georges River Land Trust to protect the southern slope of their land, on which they had already generously offered to have the Georges Highland Path extend along this steep and scenic mountainside. The conservation easement on 25 ½ acres would forever protect this diverse woodland slope from development and allow hikers and walkers to traverse the land as part of Georges River Land Trust’s trail system from Bald Mountain to the top of Ragged Mountain.
In the same span of time, Coastal Mountains Land Trust has been working to conserve over 3,000 acres of land surrounding the Bok farm on Bald and Ragged Mountains. As part of this campaign, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, developed a plan to develop a 9-mile multi-use non-motorized trail around the perimeter of Ragged Mountain called the Round the Mountain Trail. Bringing these two projects together, this year, Georges River Land Trust agreed to amend its original conservation easement, in cooperation with the Boks, to address broader conservation goals by securing additional land to put under conservation, and offering the general public an opportunity to cross a section of the conservation land as part of the Round the Mountain Trail.
The original conservation values, to protect the wildlife and natural communities’ habitat along this slope, ensure it remains undeveloped, and provide that access along the Georges Highland Path, remain in place. This partnership between the original owner of the property, Mary Bok; the manager of the Round the Mountain Trail, Coastal Mountains Land Trust; and the holder of the Conservation Easement and manager of the Georges Highland Path, Georges River Land Trust demonstrates the ability to accomplish meaningful conservation.
Meg Rasmussen, Georges River Land Trust’s Executive Director, welcomed the opportunity to achieve additional public benefit through the amendment of the Bok conservation easement while supporting the vision and execution of the Round the Mountain Trail. “The Bok family continues to be generous with their vision of conservation and public recreation. We are very grateful for the partners who worked together to ensure this land is forever protected.”
Ian Stewart, Coastal Mountain Land Trust’s Executive Director, was humbled by the generosity of Mary Bok and her family saying “The Bok family expressed an incredible willingness to do whatever they could, by improving this easement and donating additional land, to guarantee that the public will continue to enjoy exploring the beautiful mountain.”