Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Home

Land

Towns

People

Delmarva Oasis

Ways to Give

Events

News / Blog

Staff

Board of Directors

Careers

Contact

Give

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.

ExcellenceITAC Accreditation
Title Image

BLOG

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

Read More


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.  

Read More


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.

Read More


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.

Read More


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

Read More


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.

Read More


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.

Read More


Chesapeake Film Festival and ESLC

From October 11th to October 14th, the Eastern Shore won’t just be the land of sails and oysters—it will be a sea of film! This long weekend is a celebration of storytelling and filmmaking including workshops, guest speakers, director Q&A’s, and jam-packed cinematic discovery. Jim Bass, ESLC Coastal Resilience Specialist, will lead a discussion following the Maryland premiere of Current Revolution at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on October 13 during the Chesapeake Film Festival. Current Revolution is the newest film by Roger Sorkin and the American Resilience Project. The film, and associated outreach campaigns, tackles the challenge of how various industries can help modernize the aging power grid to make it more secure, sustainable and responsive to the needs of its users. The film, sponsored by Delmarva Power, encourages the use of renewable energy sources to generate electricity. The screening is the Maryland premiere for this essential and excellent film. Current Revolution is paired with Tidewater, another eye-opening film by Sorkin that shows the ravages of climate change on the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, a region whose vulnerability to sea level rise affects military readiness and our overall national security. And don't miss - An Island Out Of Time (PREMIERE): Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 7:30PM - 9:30PM. Directed by Tom Horton, Dave Harp, and Sandy Cannon-Brown (30 min). From the filmmaking team that brought us High Tide in Dorchester and Beautiful Swimmers! This is a film about a remarkable couple, Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall, whose lives on Smith Island personify Chesapeake Bay’s watermen, seafood harvesting culture and history. It’s also about the four children who chose to break with that tradition and why. Written by Tom Horton, the film – like his 1996 book, An Island out of Time - is both celebration and elegy for a place beset with rising sea levels, erosion, pollution, and

Read More


Listen to ESLC’s Jim Bass talk coastal resilience on WHCP

Jim Bass, coastal resilience specialist for ESLC, recently joined Director of Dorchester Country Dept. of Emergency Services Anna Sierra for an interview on Cambridge's WHCP to kick off National Preparedness Month (September). Jim spoke in detail as to how emergency preparedness and ESLC''s coastal resilience program are interconnected, and how the Eastern Shore is one of the nation's most susceptible areas to sea level rise in the country. Jim and Anna also touch on information about the "Know your Zone" program from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Thanks to WHCP ("A Great Place to Be!") for inviting Jim on the air. LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD

Read More


ESLC’s Wayne Gilchrest awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

ESLC Education Program Director (Sassafras Environmental Education Center) Wayne Gilchrest received the Meritorious Service Award (Lifetime Achievement) at the inaugural Environmental Business Leadership Conference, hosted by the Maryland Environmental Service on July 19th at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis. The impressive one-day program featured a lineup of nearly 40 experts from across many, key environmental fields, discussing riveting topics in a dozen business programs and breakout sessions, networking with industry leaders, and more. Following a competitive nomination and selection process, the awardees were selected by a fifteen-member panel. The awards were presented at the sold-out affair. The complete list of award recipients included: Environmental Business Leadership - Public Sector: The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor of Maryland Environmental Business Leadership - Private Sector: Thomas Maulding, Weller Development Co. Meritorious Service Award (Lifetime Achievement): The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest, Director, Sassafras Environmental Education Center, and former Member of Congress from Maryland Rising Star: Diane Croghan, Anne Arundel County Government Environmental Excellence - Sustainability: Marriott International, Inc. (being accepted by Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Marriott International) Environmental Excellence - Environmental Restoration: Barbara McMahon, MDOT Maryland Port Administration Environmental Excellence - Solid Waste Management: Mr. Trash Wheel (being accepted by John Kellet, President, Clearwater Mills, LLC) “Each of the Environmental Business Leadership Awards recipients are exemplary individuals and organizations that have consistently demonstrated strong leadership and determination to strengthen and preserve Maryland’s environment,” said Roy McGrath, chairman and chief executive officer of the Maryland Environmental Service. “This inaugural group of awardees has set the bar very high and serve as examples of how good stewardship of the environment intersects positively with business and industry,” he added. The regional event brings together key business and environmental leaders to collaborate and learn about the latest environmental business and product innovations, technologies, and opportunities.  

Read More



Recent Posts

  • Eastern Shore Towns Respond to COVID-19
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Pat Langenfelder
  • Climate Study Predicts Extent of Heavier Rains on Eastern Shore
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Alexander Walls
  • LYON RUM Distillery announces final batch of ESLC Black Rum
  • The First Look at Severe Rainfall Impacts in Maryland
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Matt Tobriner
  • 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