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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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ESLC Applies for Land Trust Accreditation Renewal

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation renewal.

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ESLC Releases Comprehensive Sea Level Rise Study

ESLC has released a new study to assist local governments plan for the impacts of sea level rise. Titled “Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” the report is centered on sea level rise projections for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in the years 2050 and 2100.

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New Installation Inside the Eastern Shore Conservation Center

Utilizing open space and some compelling imagery that was originally created for a 2018 exhibit, Pat Rogan of Washington, D.C.-based creative studio Assemble and ESLC staff recently installed some conservation-charged decor to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. ESLC originally had the exhibit pieces created as a part of Shore Explorations, a month-long studio where participants strolled through Easton's Waterfowl Building exploring the Shore's history, ecosystem, and culture to seek a better understanding of their past, present, and future on the Mid-Shore. "It is always a thrill to work with experts to try to illustrate a grand vision that helps others imagine what is possible," says Rogan. "After first learning about the critical and innovative work of ESLC, I began to look at the rapidly changing landscapes of Delmarva differently. Instead of just feeling threatened by what is being lost with change, I started to see the power of people coming together to shape change while honoring and protecting our region's rural heritage." Once an abandoned eyesore on a main downtown Easton thoroughfare, the Eastern Shore Conservation Center was rehabilitated by ESLC into a LEED-certified, mixed-use campus housing a suite of nonprofit partners, local businesses, and apartments. The building was purposely designed with space to accommodate members from our community - large and small conference rooms, kitchen area, and outside courtyard all provide an uniquely urban and resourceful backdrop for any group or class needing space to host a meeting, party, or conference. For more information on renting space, please contact ESLC Facilities & Administrative Manager Owen Bailey at 410.690.4603.

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ESLC awarded Preservation Grant for smokestack repair at Phillips Packing House

CAMBRIDGE, MD – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from The Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund. These grant funds will be used to help stabilize and repair the building’s iconic smokestacks. Cross Street Partners, in partnership with Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) will repurpose the 60,000 SF historic Phillips Packing House Building F as The Packing House - an active, mixed-use development designed to support the emerging industries related to the Eastern Shore’s famed farming and fisheries. The Packing House will house a synergistic mix of tech and creative entrepreneurs, food production and food related retail/eateries as well as a 2-story, light-filled open atrium space for continuous public programs and private events. The Packing House will serve as a connection between the growing downtown revitalization in Cambridge and the well-traveled Route 50—Ocean Gateway to Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia beaches. The commercialization, research, production, and active retail uses will support local employment and inform nutrition and public health programming on the Eastern Shore. Redeveloping this historically significant building as an entrepreneurial engine for the Cambridge community in a manner that celebrates Cambridge’s unique heritage preserves the legacy of the Phillips Packing Company. It is the last remaining factory from the Phillips Company’s empire of vegetable and food packing businesses, which once employed thousands of people in Cambridge. The company closed in the 1960’s, and the building has been deteriorating for decades. "Organizations like ESLC help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "We are honored to provide a grant to ESLC, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage." Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds have

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Did you know? ESLC headquarters is LEED certified

Here at ESLC, we believe in the old adage, 'If you talk it, you walk it'. With this in mind, ensuring that the future Eastern Shore Conservation Center (or ESCC) -- reimagined from the abandoned and downtrodden McCord Laundry building in downtown Easton -- would be a sustainable, LEED certified building, was never in question. After all, our Center for Towns Program has been actively promoting infill development and smart growth strategies in an effort to strengthen our rural towns for the better part of a decade. Our partnership with Baltimore's Cross Street Partners on The Packing House in Cambridge is a perfect example of these efforts. But what exactly does LEED mean? Simply put, LEED is green building. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community, and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste, and support human health. LEED buildings also attract tenants, cost less to operate, and boost employee productivity and retention. If you haven't taken a stroll through the Center yet, please do! We welcome visitors during normal business hours (M-F, 8:30am to 4:30pm) to take in our campus. A true mixed-use facility, ESCC tenants include (environmentally-focused) nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, apartments, office rental space, and a cafe.  

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RECENTLY RELEASED: Fourth National Climate Assessment Vol II

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years. The Trump administration tried to bury this 13-agency report by releasing in on Black Friday when almost no one would be paying attention. The report is a big deal. The objectives of this (1,600+ page) report are as follows: "1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program…; 2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and 3) analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.” More background: NCA4 Vol II, Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States, assesses a range of potential climate change-related impacts, with an aim to help decision makers better identify risks that could be avoided or reduced. The assessment follows Vol I, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), which was released in November 2017. Together, these reports meet the requirements of the Global Change Research Act, which mandates a quadrennial assessment of our understanding of global change and its impacts on the United States. As the country's third most vulnerable region to the effects of sea level rise, the Eastern Shore can become a national model for coastal resilience in rural communities. ESLC works to understand and communicate the risks associated with sea level rise. We build resilience through community-oriented projects and by connecting local governments with resources and assistance to prepare for future coastal flooding and storms. Learn more about these risks and our ongoing efforts to mitigate them by subscribing to our biweekly newsletter, Resilience Matters.

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ESLC raises more than $20,000 on Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, November 27th, otherwise known as Giving Tuesday – the international day of giving that follows Cyber Monday – ESLC received a total of $20,577 on its website and through Facebook from donors supporting the organization’s conservation-based programs and initiatives. “We’re incredibly thankful for the support and love the community showed us on this year’s Giving Tuesday,” said ESLC’s Director of Communications David Ferraris. “We started participating with this ‘holiday’ in 2016 and have had a lot of success with it, but hit a new level of support this year, especially in terms of involvement from new donors.” ESLC was fortunate enough to have also had the support of seven local businesses that shared the group’s messaging leading up to and throughout the day via social media. Those businesses are Lyon Distilling Co., Eat Sprout, Solar Energy Services, Ebbtide Wellness Studio, Pop’s Old Place, Washington Street Pub, and Hair O’ The Dog Wine & Spirits. Since 1990, ESLC has permanently protected more than 60,000 acres of land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The organization also provides planning consultation for land use and community design projects, environmental education, and climate adaptation planning for county governments.

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The little things we can be grateful for

In this season of being grateful for all that we have, some thoughts by ESLC's Community Revitalization Project Manager Darius Johnson following a recent visit with the St. Michaels Rotary Club seemed like the perfect words to share. You see, much of the work that ESLC staff performs would fall under the 'behind the scenes' category, as the majority of the public don't necessarily see or hear about it, yet are positively affected. Staff meet regularly with Eastern Shore citizens, interest groups, and local leaders - part of our mission to help provide insightful information regarding town planning, preservation, and climate adaptation work that we are continually engaged in. Along with ESLC Agricultural Specialist (and local farmer) Carol Bean, we are reminded of the little things we have to be thankful for on the Eastern Shore.    Ever heard of Happy Dollars? Yesterday, one of my colleagues and I presented on ESLC's Center for Towns projects to the St. Michael's Rotary Club. Before the presentation, the club went through a series of updates including their individual donations of "Happy Dollars." I learned that at this time, a member raises his or her dollar and donates it in honor of something that makes them happy. One woman gave a dollar because her grandson got a job at Target, to which I heard a few whispers of "That's a good job." Several gave a dollar because they were happy with the success of the Easton Waterfowl Festival this past weekend—which was pretty fun on the Friday that I checked it out. But then someone said they had a "Sad Dollar," for a rotary member who recently passed away. Many nodded in agreement, and several donated in memory of him as well. He was described as a quiet but funny member of the club who seemed to have had a lasting

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ESLC celebrates new String of Pearls landowner recipients

On Thursday, November 1st at ESLC's Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC) in Kennedyville, MD, the Chesapeake Bay String of Pearls Project and ESLC celebrated four Kent County landowners for their contributions in preserving land forever. Hosted by Wayne Gilchrest, the ceremony included toasts, a small reception, refreshments, music (by CBF's Alan Girard & friend), and plein air paintings of the new “Pearls”. The goal of this project is to connect enough “Pearls” to form a series of “Strings” – natural corridors for wildlife and biodiversity of habitat to hold the landscape together. String of Pearls strives to create a balance between development and best use of our land…our precious natural resource. This crop of Pearls are all working Kent County farms, and proudly continue the String of Pearls network, connecting preservation around the Bay. More about each Pearl below: Fair Hill Farms – The Fry’s permanently preserved more than 550 acres of their dairy farm with two conservation easements, held by ESLC and partners MET. Provides views of open fields and rolling hills from Maryland’s Rt. 213 scenic byway. Owners: Matt & Megan Fry, Ed & Marian Fry. St. Brigid’s Farm – 62 conserved acres where roughly 200 animals graze on the farm’s permanent pasture, providing dairy and grass fed/finished beef to individuals & restaurants. Owners: Robert Fry & Judith Gifford. Oldfield Point Farms – another property located along Rt. 213, the Starkey Family permanently protected 678 acres of their Galena farm, which also contains 10k feet along the Sassafras River. This is what we call a Keystone Eastern Shore Property, meaning a large, intact farm visible from the road and includes waterfront property and wildlife habitats. Owners: William & Barbara Starkey, Brennan & Patricia Starkey, Christopher & Elizabeth Starkey. Three Lane Farm – 421 acres of Galena farmland permanently protected with easements held by ESLC & MET.

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Pop Up event draws solid crowd for Shore Explorations exhibit

On Tuesday, October 4th, ESLC and UMCES Horn Point Laboratory co-hosted a pop up party at the Waterfowl Building in downtown Easton. The occasion - to highlight our organizations' current projects and new, museum-quality pieces that are currently featured in the Shore Explorations exhibit. Approximately 100 locals came through the doors between 5pm and 7pm, speaking with staff, viewing slideshows and exhibit materials. Free beverages and snacks were made available to party attendees. Many thanks to Shore Explorations creator Patrick Rogan, who created the exhibit in order to show the synergistic relationships between the cultural, historical, and scientific/environmental qualities that make the Eastern Shore a truly special place. Rogan also worked closely with Talbot County Public Schools, the Talbot Historical Society, and the Frederick Douglass Honor Society during his Bicentennial year. ESLC's new images and multimedia exhibit pieces will be on display at its 2018 Party to Preserve event, held on Saturday, October 27th at Chateau Bu-De in Chesapeake City, MD.

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Recent Posts

  • This Is Why I Preserve: Carol Bean
  • Chesapeake Bay Architects Discuss Design and Climate Adaptation
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen
  • Thriving – Not Simply Surviving – in the Delmarva Oasis
  • Saving the Stacks
  • Buy Local Challenge: Cookin’ with Carol
  • It Was a Beautiful Day for a LANDJAM!
  • Cannery Park Planting and Clean Up
  • ForeFront Power and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Announce Partnership
  • Former ESLC Staffer Sets Sights on 2019 Mongol Derby
  • ESLC Applies for Land Trust Accreditation Renewal
  • ESLC Releases Comprehensive Sea Level Rise Study
  • New Installation Inside the Eastern Shore Conservation Center
  • ESLC awarded Preservation Grant for smokestack repair at Phillips Packing House
  • Did you know? ESLC headquarters is LEED certified