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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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232 acres in Talbot County permanently protected

The Maryland Environmental Trust, partnering with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, has permanently protected 232 acres of farm and forest land along Maryland Route 33, known as the Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway. Gannon Family LLC granted a conservation easement on what is locally called “Lee Haven Farm,” forever protecting the prime agricultural land and scenic views. The Board of Public Works approved the easement Dec. 6. “We are grateful to keep this land a productive part of the local economy and to protect the scenic view on the Eastern Shore,” Maryland Environmental Trust Director Bill Leahy said. The easement is located in Talbot County immediately outside the town of Easton. It consists of about 100 acres of farmland and 125 acres of forest. The southernmost portion of the property is along the headwaters of Dixon Creek. “We have placed conservation easements on other Talbot County properties and are pleased to have worked with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Maryland Environmental Trust to preserve a large part of Lee Haven,” Greg Gannon, an owner of Gannon Family LLC, said. Gannon Family LLC donated the land for conservation. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Conservation Easement Program Manager Jared Parks said the land currently is listed in Easton’s greenbelt. The forest section is habitat for the Delmarva fox squirrel, which is no longer endangered but is still a species of concern, and “it’s got a lot of great farm land,” Parks said. “It is a great easement and it is in an area that we want to see preserved as greenbelt, stay active in farming and open,” Parks said. Farming can still happen on the land, but under the easement no commercial, industrial or residential development is allowed, and that provision literally lasts forever and follows the land, not the owner. “That allows them to continue to own it, farm it, do

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Why Eastern Shore residents should care about saving the Historic Tax Credit

Caught up in the current effort to reform the federal tax code is a critical program that has completed nearly $25 million worth of rehabilitated historic buildings on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2002. The Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is a 20% credit on the cost of rehabilitating a historic building and is a powerful and efficient tool for revitalizing our nation’s small towns and cities. For every $1 invested by the federal government, the program attracts nearly $4 in private investment. Better yet, for every $1 in credits, the program returns $1.20 to the federal treasury – actually yielding a profit for the government. The results have been stunning and have changed the outlook for many communities. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore the program has a long history of revitalizing communities while also saving important historic buildings. Since 2002, in Easton alone the program has incentivized the rehabilitation of $10 million worth of buildings – from main street shops to former industrial buildings. A perfect example is the McCord Laundry facility, home to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center – a mixed-use campus of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and apartments. In Cambridge, the program is supporting the rebirth of Race Street, providing critical equity to make the rehabilitation of the Hearn Hardware Building a reality. The formerly vacant and crumbling building will now host market rate apartments and first floor retail space; yet another positive outcome thanks to the Historic Tax Credit. Elsewhere in Cambridge, the Historic Tax Credit is incentivizing an ambitious and potentially catalytic project that will convert the vacant Phillips Packing Co.’s Factory F into a hub of commerce, industry, and education. Without the Historic Tax Credit and the New Market Tax Credit program, which is also seriously threatened, tackling difficult projects like this in rural communities would not be possible. Repeal of

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A perfect day at the 2017 Party to Preserve

A most heartfelt thank you to all who attended, volunteered, and sponsored the Party to Preserve (or "P2P") on Saturday, October 7th just outside of Chestertown, MD! We literally could not have done it without all of you. This annual fundraising gala on a preserved Eastern Shore property has become a huge part of ESLC's annual fundraising goals, and its success is of the utmost importance to our organization. (Scroll down for pictures of the event.) This year’s Party to Preserve was a wonderful success in many ways. We had the most tickets sales of any Party ever, and the initial numbers look like it raised the most revenue ever for an ESLC event (by a small margin) as well! The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, the band sounded sweet, and the comradery was amazing. It was simply a lovely party. An extra thank you to the Hoon family for generously hosting this year's Party at the beautiful Thornton Estate! And a special shout out to Carin Starr, who, after 6 years of service with ESLC, recently accepted another position but still made the time to help with all the Party minutia in the last few weeks. Thank you, Carin – we cannot tell you how much you've meant to the organization. Thank you all so much:) Corporate Sponsors: Angelica Nurseries, Inc., Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Avon-Dixon Agency LLC, Bank of America, CBIZ MHM LLC, Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company, Dixon Valve & Coupling Co.,  Ducks Unlimited, DuPont, Ewing, Dietz, Fountain & Kaludis, P.A., Fair Hill Farms Inc., Francis J. Hickman Farm Management, Gillespie & Son Inc., GreenVest LLC, The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley, Lane Engineering LLC, LS Investment Advisors LLC, MidAtlantic Farm Credit FLCA, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Parker Counts, Piazza Italian Market, PNC Financial Services Group, Radcliffe Corporate Services Inc., Shore United Bank, Talbot Preservation Alliance, Tuckahoe Treasures Alpaca Farm, Willard’s Agri-Service In-Kind Sponsors: EC Fisher Design, Executive Transportation, Kelly Distributors, Magnolia Caterers & Bread Co., On

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ESLC awarded grant to continue Envision the Choptank program

Thanks to a grant totaling $107,744 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), ESLC will continue to coordinate various organizations, agencies, and community groups to develop collaborative, evidence-based solutions that enhance the health and productivity of native oyster reefs and provide a swimmable and fishable Choptank River. The Envision the Choptank project will expand upon the partnership’s ongoing Best Management Practice implementation efforts by providing the nutrient and stormwater reductions equivalent to 50 rain barrels and five rain gardens. Envision the Choptank: Coordinating Efforts for a Healthy Choptank River (MD) Grantee: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy CBSF Award: $80,779 Matching Funds: $26,965 Total Project: $107,744 The award was announced as one of the recipients of the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund 2017 Grant Slate. The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund seeks to protect and enhance the water quality and habitats of the Chesapeake Bay by helping local communities clean up and restore their polluted rivers and streams. NFWF advances cost-effective and creative solutions with financial and technical assistance. The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund will identify priority subwatersheds to simultaneously achieve measurable water quality improvements, fish and wildlife habitat enhancements, and benefit threatened freshwater and marine fish species. The fund includes two distinct grant programs: the Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants program and the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants program. Through these two programs, the fund is awarding 44 grants that address three key strategies for the Chesapeake Bay watershed: • Targeted river and watershed restoration • Green infrastructure in urban landscapes • Innovation on cross-cutting issues

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Hurricane Harvey relief effort ships to Texas!

On Monday, September 11th, our Hurricane Harvey relief effort shipped officially left for Texas. WIN Trucking picked up all donated goods collected here at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. ESLC thanks everyone for their support and generosity while we were gathering supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas. Staff, building partners, community members, and local businesses all showed outstanding support for a very worthwhile cause! Thanks to you, we shipped: 58 large boxes of food & supplies; 6 bedding sets/blankets; 7 cases of water; 11 large bags of dry cat/dog food; 6 cases of canned cat/dog food; and countless rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. We collected $265.00 in monetary donations for the Houston Food Bank as well. Pictured (right): Staff from Shore United Bank collected items all week long, delivering them in person on Monday prior to the truck arriving. Thank you Shore United Bank!

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Packing House meetups scheduled

Help us create a dynamic Innovation Hub as a key part of The Packing House project - at the historic Phillips Cannery building in Cambridge. We are holding four September “Meetups” at different locations, with each running from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. A brief presentation will be made by Cross Street Partners and ESLC, and the rest is discussion. Focus on traditional Eastern Shore sectors that also belong to the technology economy: food and agriculture, aquaculture, environmental sciences Unparalleled environment for meeting, collaborating and innovating with others – from inside our community, and beyond it Higher education presence around research and commercialization Compelling exhibit space for public education Come to the one most convenient for you, and share your thoughts about our region’s economic and entrepreneurial future, and feedback on this exciting project. If you have not already RSVP'd, please attend one of the upcoming meetups during which a presentation will be made about the planned Innovation Hub in Cambridge. Pizza, beer, wine, and beverages will be provided. Cambridge Meetup - September 27 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Chestertown Meetup - September 13 5:30pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Easton Meetup - September 14 5:30pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Salisbury Meetup - September 21 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm RSVP   Questions? Please contact ESLC Program Coordinator Rachel Roman at rroman@eslc.org

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ESLC Celebrates Partnership with Lyon Distilling Co.

*PRESS RELEASE* TALBOT COUNTY – A local nonprofit known for land preservation and town planning on the Eastern Shore has hooked up with one of Maryland’s finest distilleries for a good cause. Lyon Distilling Company of St. Michaels, known since 2013 as a micro, craft distillery producing ultra-small batches of award-winning rums and whiskeys in St. Michaels, has released its latest concoction – a special, limited batch Black Rum with a percentage of every bottle sold benefitting the projects and programs of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC). This rum varietal features a rich and smooth finish, with subtle touches of oak spice and sweetness. From the bottle’s packaging: “Together we are committed to protecting the land on which we work and play, and encourage you to sip this delicious spirit soundly knowing that a portion of your purchase helps fund ESLC’s many worthwhile endeavors.” “We’re so excited to help support the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy with our Black Rum,” says Lyon owner and co-founder Jaime Windon. “I’ve always admired partnerships like this. Philanthropy is so important to us and as a startup we are limited in what we can do. But we try to do everything that we can locally, and this is the first effort that has been organized at this level. Exciting times!” ESLC plans to commemorate the release of the Black Rum partnership with a happy hour party on Thursday, August 31st from 5-7pm at their headquarters in Easton. Bottles will be available for sale with Lyon staff on hand providing tastings and joining in the celebration. ESLC’s Communication Manager David Ferraris described the partnership as “a natural fit.” “ESLC is ecstatic to have its name associated with a local company producing an exceptional product,” said Ferraris. “Since their arrival on the Shore, Lyon has made it clear that they support local

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Comptroller Franchot to present ESLC with Bright Lights Award

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy invites the public to join us at The Packing House (formerly known as Phillips Packing Co.’s ‘Factory F’ ) on July 31st at 11:30am as Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presents ESLC with the Bright Lights Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship! The “Bright Lights Award” pays tribute to businesses and nonprofit leaders and organizations that foster innovation in their fields. More specifically, the award recognizes and celebrates innovation in the private and nonprofit sectors that strengthen Maryland’s economy, generate jobs and tax revenue, and develop new ideas that more effectively deliver services and products within the marketplace. The Packing House is located at 411 Dorchester Ave., Cambridge. The event will last approximately one hour, with Comptroller Franchot presenting the award at approximately 12pm. A tour featuring discussion about the history and future plans for the building will be available to guests. Walking shoes are encouraged! Speakers: Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of Cambridge; Katie Parks White, Director of Conservation, ESLC; Mike Binko, Founder/CEO, Startup Maryland; Peter Franchot, Comptroller of Maryland; Rob Etgen, Executive Director, ESLC   Note: ESLC is currently crowdfunding for the stabilization of The Packing House smokestacks – an essential part of Phase 1 of the revitalization process. Please contribute and/or help spread the word!

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AmeriCorps members volunteer at SEEC

(By Dorian Mitchell of The Kent County News – July 24, 2017) TURNERS CREEK — Volunteers from AmeriCorps are spending their summer in Kent County, working to improve the Sassafras Environmental Education Center and to help youngsters learn about the world of nature. Speaking Monday, member Steven Zimmer of Iowa said AmeriCorps is a government-sponsored organization that sends volunteers ages 18 to 24 to various communities throughout the U.S. to “perform needed services.” “We hail from all corners of the country,” Zimmer, 22, said. “So far I’ve been to Pennsylvania, Mississippi and upstate New York.” He said his group, consisting of six other volunteers and a team leader, were sent to the SEEC by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in June. They work eight hours a day, five to six days a week, around the center and the Knocks Folly Visitors Center in Kennedyville. Their tasks include working with children in the center’s summer camps, maintaining the surrounding nature trails, removing invasive plant species, performing water quality tests and more. “It’s been hot work,” said Jacob Northcutt-Walker, 19, of Flint, Mich. “But it’s been a good lifestyle experience to be working with plants and water. He said AmeriCorps volunteers serve for 10 months. They average about $13 every day and also have a living stipend. A graduation ceremony is held at the end of their service and each volunteer receives an educational grant of about $5,000. “You also must be able to learn how to conduct yourself as a person,” Northcutt-Walker said. “No one is going to hand you something you didn’t work for.” SEEC Director and former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest said this is the fourth year AmeriCorps volunteers have worked at the center. He called this year’s volunteers a “great group of young people.” “They’re hardworking, enthusiastic and great with the kids,” Gilchrest said. The AmeriCorps volunteers currently are staying in a house

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Maryland Department of Planning announces $90,000 grant for The Packing House smokestack stabilization!

Great news for The Packing House project! The Maryland Department of Planning recently announced that 50 matching grants totaling nearly $2.7M were awarded to non-profits, local jurisdictions, and other heritage tourism organizations including museums, historic preservation, natural resources, cultural, and educational organizations by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA).  Among them was $90,000 awarded for The Packing House - more specifically, the stabilization of the factory smokestacks which are in desperate need of repair. The Packing House grant fell within MHAA's "Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area" (or Dorchester County), which as a whole was awarded $235,000. ESLC also has a crowdfunding site at Razoo.com where an additional $25,000 is trying to be raised to help with a hefty smokestack repair bill. These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland. Tourism is the 10th largest private sector employer in Maryland, providing more than 143,000 jobs and $17 billion of visitor spending annually. Maryland’s Heritage Areas contribute to Maryland tourism by saving and enhancing the places that attract heritage tourists - people who focus their travels on historic sites, museums, cultural activities, or the natural beauty of Maryland’s Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastal areas and Mountain Maryland. For more information about The Packing House, please visit thepackinghousecambridge.com.

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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