The preservation of the farm started with an act of kindness...
In 2013 student volunteers replanted 1,200 trees on the Archibald Johnston Conservation Area that had been wiped out in Hurricane Irene. When the group found out that people were walking into private backyards from the park, they volunteered to plant a hedge row of native swamp rose and evergreens. On the second day, the volunteers were asked about how best to place the land in conservation.
Two years later, after the same volunteers petitioned their local, state and national representatives and raised funds from Northampton County for Open Space funds, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and local businesses and individuals, the Friends of Johnston together with Natural Lands Trust were able save the farm. The Friends of Johnston purchased the 3.4 acres of Camel's Hump Farm historic buildings and Natural Lands Trust purchased the 18 acres of farmland that the Friends of Johnston now manages.
The Friends of Johnston, Inc. purchased the historic farm buildings and 3.4 acres of Camel's Hump Farm in 2015 from the estate of Archibald Johnston's granddaughter, Amanda Johnston Leckonby. The intent was to preserve and reuse the buildings as a Community Center for Nature, Education, Wellness and the Arts and the home for the organization. The historic buildings of the farm include: a 1722 farmhouse, 1836 Pennsylvania doubledecker bank barn, a guest house renovated from a small barn, a greenhouse and a cabin and offers many opportunitues for classroom and gathering spaces.
Our primary goal is to protect the land and buildings through conservation, the development of programmin, and fundraising events that will provide revenue to sustain the farm into the future.
As the Johnston Estate moves forward our site and programs will evolve in response to the needs of our community. It is the hope of the Friends of Johnston that we will provide the framework necessary to sustainably develop and preserve this beautiful part of our history for our future.
Our goal for the farm is to meet the needs of our community by providing programming needed in our community:
- Nature center
- Nature based early childhood education
- Summer Camp
- Afterschool Programs
- Programming for students with special needs
- Community Garden