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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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441 Acres Preserved in Cecil County for Addiction Recovery

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is pleased to announce closing on a new conservation easement! The easement, completed in partnership with the U.S. Army and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), protects 441 acres of agricultural land and critical species habitat with scenic value, off Back Creek and McGill Creek in Cecil County.

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust, which protects a property’s agricultural viability, natural habitat, rural heritage, and/or scenic open space in perpetuity.

Creek view off the Bracebridge Hall property in Cecil County, MD

This easement is one of several in the Grove Neck area of Cecil County, and it serves as home to the federally threatened Puritan tiger beetle (Cicindela puritana). ESLC’s efforts to protect land along the mouth of the Sassafrass River continues to put the recovery of the Puritan Tiger beetle in reach.

The newly preserved property is the Bracebridge Hall location for Recovery Centers of America (RCA), whose mission is to save 1 million lives from the disease of addiction using evidence-based practices and clinical expertise to deliver quality patient care tailored to individual patients’ needs. The property is 530 acres in total, with 89 acres of unprotected land to allow for the expansion of Bracebridge Hall’s buildings as necessary for operations.

“We are thrilled to partner with ESLC and want to be good stewards of the natural landscape that makes Recovery Centers of America Bracebridge Hall such a unique environment for treating substance use disorder,” said Michael Ogden, Bracebridge Hall CEO. “Our patients are able to commune with nature right on the property and this ability to step outside and appreciate the beauty of the natural landscape without drugs or alcohol can be an important tool for reeestablishing the benefits of a meaningful life in long term recovery.”

This easement brings ESLC’s total to 303 across 65,052 acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and it is one of the Conservancy’s most unique easements based on its use beyond agriculture.

Over the course of 30 years, ESLC has actively worked with thousands of farms, families and community members to protect and enhance the Eastern Shore’s working agricultural landscape. Cecil County has had several big conservation wins – and this is surely one to celebrate.

“Conservation of Bracebridge Hall has been a huge priority for well over a decade,” said ESLC President Rob Etgen.  “When this beautiful property was subdivided into over 100 lots potentially destroying the farm soils and habitat, the community partnered with ESLC to strive for a better future.  With Recovery Centers of America, a positive steward for the land has been found and a permanent conservation easement will ensure that stewardship lasts into perpetuity.  Many thanks to RCA for your commitment to conservation, and congratulations to the community for your long vigilance!”

This project was made possible thanks to financial support from Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Rural Legacy Program and the U.S. Army’s Compatible Use Buffer Program.

The Rural Legacy Program, created in 1997, protects large, contiguous tracts of Maryland’s most precious cultural and natural resource lands (often referred to as “the best of what’s left”) through grants made to local applicants.

The U.S. Army’s Compatible Use Buffer Program works with conservation-focused partners to preserve high-value habitat and limit incompatible development in the vicinity of military installations.

ESLC Land Program Manager, David Satterfield said, “Our staff is grateful to DNR and the Army for their dedication to this project. Their support and hard work was instrumental in helping us realize this long-term protection goal. Even more so, we applaud Recovery Centers of America for their dedication to conservation. Our staff looks forward to working with them, in perpetuity, to protect this important resource and hope that it helps guide many of their clients to a healthy future.”


For more information on ESLC’s Land Protection efforts, contact Land Program Manager, David Satterfield, at dstatterfield@eslc.org, or visit www.eslc.org/land.

For media inquires, contact Communications manager, Darius Johnson, at djohnson@eslc.org.

About Recovery Centers of America

RCA provides substance use disorder treatment in MD, PA, NJ, MA, and IL. Patients can obtain immediate care by calling 1-800-Recovery. Four Recovery Centers of America treatment facilities, were recently named as 2020 best U.S. treatment facilities that focus on addiction by Newsweek Magazine, including RCA at Bracebridge Hall and RCA Capital Region, both located in Maryland.

About the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.  For more information please visit www.eslc.org.

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