What is the value of a natural place? A small, unspectacular space. Perhaps a small stream, with its surrounding valley. A common place, perhaps here on the well-watered East coast. Thinking about such a place might teach us something about who we are, and about our way of life, especially here in Adams County.

For many years, much of my life has been spent in a place very different from Adams County, the densely urban area of Hampden, in Baltimore. Now rapidly gentrifying, this once blue-collar neighborhood was originally built around the cotton mills and iron furnaces that arose along the stream known locally as Jones Falls.

Loy Elliott is a member of the Land Conservancy of Adams County’s communications committee.

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