The Lenfest Center Opening at ChesLen Preserve

Natural Lands Trust fêted the generosity of Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest with an evening of local farm edibles, music and stargazing.

Last Saturday night, Natural Lands Trust hosted an event to commemorate the opening of the new Lenfest Center at ChesLen Preserve in Unionville. The celebration paid tribute to philanthropists Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, whose generous support made possible both ChesLen Preserve and its state-of-the-art preserve management center. Event co-chairs were John B. Hannum, III, and Katharine Fisher Maroney.

Below: During the dedication, Marguerite Lenfest said, “I am very proud of Gerry for not selling the land to a developer or to someone who would make it another golf course.”

Below: Bill Morrison of the event committee and Molly Morrison, the president of Natural Lands Trust, with Judy and Bill Ringey. “I give great credit to Molly Morrison and Natural Lands Trust for presenting me with the opportunity to ensure this land will be cared for and enjoyed forever,” said Gerry Lenfest.

Below: Blair Fleishmann, Peter Kjellerup and Mandy Cabot enjoy the buffet, which included sausage, pork and chicken from local farms.

Below: Longtime friends Russell Jones and Adele Fanning are big fans of the protected open land and are glad that the Lenfests saved it from developers.

Below: Andrew Weller and Janine Weller.

Below: Nancy Wood and Crosby Wood, Theresa Farrell and Lydia Willits Bartholomew.

Below: Marty Howe, president of the Chesmont Astronomical Society, Diane Lenfest and Richard Penecale. Members of the Chesmont Astronomical Society were on hand to show guests the quarter-moon during the day, plus Saturn and a sky full of stars at sunset.

Below: Janet Kenny listens to an astronomer discuss the 10,000-foot sun flares that occurred during Saturday’s sunset.

Below: John D. Mohr, Margot Mohr Teetor, Chris Teetor and Nancy Mohr were looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day together the following day.

Below: Charlotte and Robert Friedman with astronomer Robert Werkman. Werkman told me he often comes out to the preserve to observe the evening sky and watch the deer and other wildlife that roam the nearly 1,300 protected acres.

Below: Lisa Ertl, Ariel Senko, Jared Leonard, Kristen Werner, Bea Rider and Angela Michic.

National Lands Trust oversees 17 preserves in our area for you to enjoy.