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

Upper Eastern Shore Location to Provide Environmental and Recreation Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 1,172 acres in Queen Anne’s County for the development of a new Wildlife Management Area that will provide conservation, habitat and recreation benefits, including birding, hiking, hunting and trapping. The department worked in cooperation with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) on the acquisition. The new area will be managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The acquisition near Church Hill will permanently protect agricultural fields, mature forested uplands, and stream corridors that currently provide excellent water quality protection. The property functions as a headwater catch basin that drains into Brown’s Branch, a tributary of Southeast Creek on the Chester River. “This acquisition is an exciting win for both conservation advocates as well as outdoor enthusiasts,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This large and incredibly beautiful property on the Upper Eastern Shore will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat while providing the public an excellent location for outdoor recreation, especially hunting or trapping.” The Program Open Space acquisition will protect the uncommonly high diversity of fauna and flora found in the upland areas of the property, which provide essential habitat for migratory songbirds, pollinators and small mammals. “This farm has been one of our highest priorities for conservation for more than two decades,“ ESLC President Rob Etgen said. “It includes a huge area of prime farmland, and the streams are the largest remaining chunk of unprotected habitat for several endangered wildlife species. I am incredibly excited about this farm and grateful to the Hogan Administration for their support and stewardship.”

Read More


Bailey steps up recycling efforts at Eastern Shore Conservation Center

The following email, sent to all tenants of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center from ESLC's Facilities & Administrative Manager Owen Bailey, outlines the efforts made by ESLC (led by Bailey) in making the Center a zero-waste facility. We're sharing it here for others to read, as perhaps it will prove useful to you as well:) "Over the weekend I listened to a podcast on recycling from Stuff You Should Know. It reinforced our efforts on recycling as they argued Single Stream Recycling is too inefficient since too much of the materials are contaminated with food or items people hope can be recycled but can’t. When a recycling company receives a container full of too many contaminates, they throw the whole bin out, regardless of what recyclables are in there. The episode went further into what can(not) be recycled and why. I wanted to use this as an opportunity update you all on our Zero Waste efforts. The good news is we have been recycling a lot more materials than before. Battery recycling and CFL bulbs are going well. We are recycling more plastic with the #6 plastic cups and #5 plastic yogurt containers. That said, there are a lot of materials that end up in the recycling bins that I end up throwing away. Below are the most common items that do not get recycled. Sprout containers: The green containers can be cleaned and given back to Eat Sprout who will reuse them. The other containers (oatmeal bowls and brownies) are compostable and should go in the trash. Straws: We can’t recycle straws (material is too cheap to spend money on recycling). I would encourage everyone to not use plastic straws or use paper/reusable straws made from metal. Recently Seattle banned straws and I predict (and hope) more states and cities will follow. Paper coffee

Read More


ESLC aims to protect half of Delmarva Peninsula

On Friday, July 27th The Star Democrat published an article on its front page about ESLC's most ambitious initiative in its 28-year existence, currently referred to as Delmarva Oasis.  The initiative, which seeks to include the support and partnership of multiple conservation-based organizations and the local governments of three states, is a beginning of a discussion about the end game for conservation. In other words, what habitat, food production and public access lands must we absolutely protect to sustain the core life functions of Delmarva - permanently, and can this region serve as a model for long term sustainability in other areas. According to such lead experts as renowned biologist and author, E. O. Wilson, the answer in large part lies in landscape-level land conservation. More conservation is needed, faster than before, and at scales unprecedented. Wilson proposes the idea in his 2016 book, Half Earth – Our Planet's Fight for Life. Research shows that if we conserve half the land and sea globally, the bulk of biodiversity will be protected from extinction. More specifically, 50% conserved equals 85% of species entering the safe zone, and 85% of species saved equals a planet stabilized enough for humans to continue to exist. “As a community here on the Eastern Shore, we have worked hard to protect the lands we love (about 29 percent protected on the Shore),” said ESLC President Rob Etgen. “With a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the horizon and major road improvements at the northern and southern end of Delmarva, we are concerned about a return to the sprawl pressures of the past. “We feel we must ramp up our land protection efforts, and we must take a more holistic regional approach if we are to keep the farms and forests and wildlife that make this region the wonderful place we know and love.”   Why Delmarva? A flight

Read More


NextStep190 concerns Talbot County residents

(From The Star Democrat March 3rd article "The process of change" by Connie Connolly) It’s both the product and the process of NextStep190 that concerns Talbot County residents. A process designed to involve Talbot County residents in revising Chapter 190 of the county code seems not to have caught the attention of some who now are concerned the revision product will hit them in their wallets, their lifestyles, their freedom — or all three. Whether in or out of the loop, a large group of residents is fired up. They have shared their gripes, questions and concerns with each other on social media since mid-February. “I don’t like this whole being told what to do,” one county resident said. Her views have struck a chord with 1,300 Talbot countians who have joined Talbot County Citizens Against NextStep 190, the Facebook page launched on Feb. 11. Complaints about how and when meetings were scheduled, and how they were promoted, is a recurring theme on the Facebook page. But communicating with the public is a key component of the process, according to County Planner Mary Kay Verdery. At the start of the Talbot County Planning Commission’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, Verdery summarized how her office has gotten the word out about the NextStep190 process, “a project to update Talbot County’s Zoning, Subdivision, and Land Development Ordinance,” according to the website nextstep190.com. She told the commission that once the initial meetings to coordinate staff were completed, “just under 30 public participation and 20 public attendance (to observe work sessions) meetings” were held. Verdery said meetings were advertised on the NextStep190 website and in the newspaper, through email blasts and with postcard mailings. “We’ve taken multiple steps to make sure the public was aware of these meetings,” Verdery said. “We’ve had many meetings since we started.” One member of the Facebook group had his own

Read More


Cambridge Residents Invited to Community Design Charrettes and Kick-Off Event for Cannery Park

ESLC and its project partners will host two community design charrettes, as well as a project kick-off event, to celebrate and gather community input for Cannery Park. The park, which will be located adjacent to the former Phillips Packing Co.’s last remaining building (soon to be known as The Packing House), is the culmination of a planning and funds-seeking process that has been in the works for approximately seven years. The media kick-off event will happen at 11am on Tuesday, January 23rd at 411 Dorchester Avenue. All residents, local businesses, and members of the media are encouraged to attend to find out more about the future park, and about Parker Rodriguez – the Alexandria, VA-based landscape architecture firm that has been selected to design and create Cannery Park. The two community design charrettes will be open to the public in an effort to capture feedback and input on the design of Cannery Park’s master plan, as well as to provide updates on Cambridge’s newest public space. The first charrette will be held from 6:30 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 23rd at the Cambridge Empowerment Center, located at 615 B Pine Street. The second charrette will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 25th at the Public Safety Building, located at 8 Washington Street. Along with ESLC staff, members from the City of Cambridge, Dorchester County, Cross Street Partners, and Parker Rodriguez will be in attendance during all of the week’s events. The restoration of Cambridge Creek, along with the removal of an inactive railroad line so as to create a rail trail connecting the park to downtown, will be among the first action items in the creation of the new park. Parker Rodriguez was founded in 1996 as a full service land planning, landscape architecture, and urban design firm serving

Read More


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

Read More


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

Read More


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

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