The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

On the Bright Side

September 20, 2013

Sisters honor father through land preservation

Two sisters have partnered with Otsego Land Trust to protect their 33.3-acre property in honor of their father, Dr. Edmund Kerper.

Mary Clare LaDine and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly donated a conservation easement to Otsego Land Trust, which assures the property’s protection for future generations. According to a media release, the Monnelly-LaDine parcel of forests and fields connects to other protected properties and contains a 20-acre wetlands natural area that acts as a natural filter for Oaks and Fly creeks.

LaDine and Monnelly described Kerper as a “quiet, gentle hero who was always there to listen and not be judgmental.” 

Kerper was remembered in a Daily Star tribute as “the ‘diagnostic backbone’ of the excellent staff of physicians which made Homer Folks Hospital perhaps the best sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis in the United States” in the years during and after WWII. 

“One of the reasons we thought to preserve the land in his memory,” Monnelly said in the release, “is because there are wildflowers there that he loved to see and photograph. He also enjoyed the many birds that came to his feeder and were visible over the fields. They were good company for him.”

Monnelly, a nature photographer whose photographs are being shown in an exhibit titled “Fragile Waters” along with those of Ansel Adams and Ernest H. Brooks II, credits her father with nurturing her career.

“He bought me my first camera and taught me to use it,” she remembers.

“The story connected to the protection of Monnelly-LaDine property is truly a special one,” Virginia Kennedy, executive director of Otsego Land Trust, said in the release. “Dorothy and Mary have remembered their father, a beloved father and doctor, in a way that profoundly honors him and assures that the whole community can benefit. Not only have they created the perfect legacy, but they have assured that the forests and important wetlands of this beautiful parcel will continue to be home to abundant bird and wildlife, to contribute to the health of Oaks and Fly Creeks, and to maintain the scenic, rural character of the whole area.”

The Monnelly-LaDine easement is part of 600 acres of forests, farmlands and historical structures from the ridgeline of Bedbug Hill to Oaks Creek that have been protected by Otsego Land Trust. For more information, contact Otsego Land Trust at 547-2366, write to or visit

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