Portion of Fair Hill property dedicated to honorary ranger
— A portion of the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area was recently dedicated in honor of William “Howard” Skinner in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the property.
Several Maryland Park Rangers joined members of Skinner’s family in the Oct. 21 ceremony to dedicate the “Honorary Ranger William ‘Howard’ Skinner Area.”
Fair Hill Park Manager Rachel Temby said the newly dedicated Skinner area
lies east of Appleton Road and west of Little Egypt Road and includes the area where Skinner lived since he was 3 years old.
Skinner, who grew up on the property, worked for years for William duPont when the property was still known as Foxcatcher Farms. DuPont, who died in 1965, began acquiring additional land for fox hunting until he had about 5,600 acres in the northeastern corner of Cecil County. He eventually gave that land to the state of Maryland to be used for equine activities.
Skinner continued to work on the property after the state took it over, helping prepare for big events like the Scottish Games and the Fair Hill Races. He passed away at the age of 86 in 2013.
Temby said Skinner was the first volunteer in Maryland to be named an “Honorary Park Ranger,” a title he loved.
Maryland Board of Public Works approved the designation in June, but the ceremony, including the installation of a new sign, didn’t take place until Oct. 21 with Skinner’s children in attendance.
William “Howard” Skinner’s children Debbie Blyskal, John Skinner and Bill Skinner attend the dedication ceremony at Fair Hill last month.