Vera Grove Rishel studied in London and spent time in Europe, but her heart was always in central Pennsylvania. She and her husband lived most of their lives there and enjoyed living near the Susquehanna River and watching the landscape change with the seasons.
When Vera passed away in 2009, her friend and executor Andrew Pruden worked to find a way to meet Vera’s wish of keeping her husband’s family property in Montour Township, Columbia County as fields and woods.
Rishel’s estate reached out to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, and together worked to draft a conservation easement that would fulfill Vera’s wish and desire to preserve her land in the way “the Indians would have inhabited the lands,” as well as meet the mission of NPC.
Legion Road runs through the middle of the property. The road parallels the Susquehanna River and is a scenic drive with views of the river and large farm fields. If you keep a watchful eye on the treeline, you may even see some hawks scanning the fields for their next meal.
A rail line parallels the tow path from the former North Branch Canal through the southern section of the property. The Montour Area Recreation Commission is coordinating the bi-county effort to develop the North Branch Canal Trail using the old towpath and is actively working now to secure funding to make some of the necessary improvements so the trail is user-friendly. Nearly one mile of the trail will run through the property, allowing views of both the old canal and the Susquehanna River.
Thanks to Vera, Andrew, and many others, the property is now under conservation easement and known as the Rishel Grove Conservation Area.