By Brooks Paternotte, Executive Director
At this time of year we traditionally give thanks for the harvest and spend time with family and friends sharing its abundance. But here at Irvine we also have something to be particularly thankful for this autumn. Less than a month ago we received one of the most generous gifts in Irvine history: a $1 million grant from the Charles T. Bauer Charitable Foundation for the sole purpose of purchasing 93 adjacent acres here in the Caves Valley. On October 6, we settled on that land and now have nearly 210 acres under our stewardship.
Irvine has doubled in size.
We are thankful that many years ago, a young Charles T. Bauer was spending time working for the Appalachian Mountain Club at the Lake of the Clouds Hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. From there, he was able to hike all of the Presidential Range and determined that one of the trails up Mt. Washington, the Davis Path, was his favorite. At 15 miles in length and with little water, it is one of the longest, most isolated and difficult trails in the Whites. Years later he hiked the same trail with his son, Ted Bauer, who played an essential role in helping Irvine apply for this grant. And I would be willing to bet that in a few years Ted’s son may be heading that way after some training on the new Bauer Path at Irvine.
Like Ted, I recognize the importance of spending time outside with our children and providing them with meaningful experiences which will help shape them as adults. Unfortunately, not all parents and their children have had those experiences. And that is where this gift is so significant to our community.
Now even more Baltimore City and Baltimore County students can explore more than 10 miles of trials, sleep under the stars for the first time, learn to respect our environment, and make decisions that will help us to protect what has been entrusted to us.
These additional 93 acres will provide Irvine with the space and natural resources to meet demand and continue providing environmental education and access to protected land for generations to come. It is humbling to think of how many thousands of families will benefit from this extraordinary gift.
See how our existing map will change by reviewing this updated graphic:
For more details, check out the full press release.