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Sussex County buys four parcels, including prominent Lewes' Hopkins Farm for preservation

Hopkins Preserve.jpg
Sussex County Photo
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Sussex County has purchased this 51-acre Hopkins farm parcel west of Lewes. The preserved land will be managed by the Sussex County Land Trust.

Sussex County recently purchased a prominent Lewes farm, along with three other parcels for preservation purposes.

The County spent $5 million to acquire and preserve a total of 151-acres of agricultural and wooded lands near Millsboro and Angola, along with a portion of the family-owned Hopkins Farm - also known as the Hopkins Preserve - in Lewes.

“This is a really interesting story," said County Administrator Todd Lawson. "Mr. Hopkins is a fourth generation farmer known for grain and dairy production at the farm; some of you may have indulged in their ice cream as well. They currently farm this property, but had an idea that they would like to preserve the property.”  

Lawson who says Walt Hopkins reached out to the Sussex County Land Trust to initiate the effort and his family discounted the sale price of the land by 50%.

The Sussex County Land Trust will now manage the property and work with county officials to develop plans for all of the property acquired, including the 47-acre Jones Family tract and 40-acre Dawson Bros. tract, near Millsboro, as well as the 13-acre Dorman Family Farm Preserve near Angola and a portion of the Lewes-area Hopkins Farm.

Lawson says the County envisions using the 51-acres along Sweetbriar Road, just north of Route 9 for open space and access to the Lewes to Georgetown bike trail with picnic areas, walking trails and perhaps a fishing pond included.

Walt Hopkins said in a statement that working with the county and the land trust to preserve his family farm was as much about giving something back to the community as ensuring agriculture’s legacy.

Since 2003, Sussex County has spent $13.5 million to preserve more than 5,200 acres.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.