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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 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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Inspiring words from ‘Chesapeake Champion’ Jim Brighton

After receiving the award as the Horn Point Laboratory 2017 Chesapeake Champion on June 23rd, Jim Brighton's prepared remarks told a remarkable story of family and connection to nature. If you were at the award ceremony, you will want to revisit it. If you were not there, you won't want to miss this chance to hear his voice in a copy of his remarks. Jim's speech: "This is so cool! Thank you Dr. Roman and faculty of Horn Point for honoring me with this award. Liz Freedlander, this is totally amazing! Thank you for all you have done to make this evening such a success! Thanks also to Amy Haines, Richard Marks, and all the sponsors that have made this amazing event possible. There are too many people that I need to thank without whose help, inspiration and friendship I wouldn't be here tonight. But a few people stand out that I would like to honor. First off, if you haven't met my parents and my sister you need to! They are the most kind, smart, and inspiring people that I know. Their love knows no bounds and they have supported me through all of my crazy wanderings and endeavors. My wife Colleen. She is my backbone, my partner in all things. Tommy and Susan Campbell. I have worked for the Campbell's for almost 20 years. Their kindness and support has never waivered especially when I've needed it most. And finally my partner at the Maryland Biodiversity Project, Bill Hubick. You could not ask for a more kind and energetic person to work with. His drive and knowledge is what really makes MBP work. He puts up with my rants, talks me down from the ledges I often find myself standing upon, and is a constant inspiration. Thank you brother! The next five years are going to be so

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Kent County Middle School students complete Chesapeake Bay Watershed project

To clean up the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students of Kent County Middle School have been working on a watershed improvement project. With the guidance of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy staff at the Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC), the 8th grade students identified schoolyard problems that contribute to issues in the Bay. They noticed problems with animal waste, trash and standing water on the school grounds. They added waste baskets and recycling bins along their track, as well as a pet waste station. Students designed signage notifying individuals that they have installed waste baskets as well as recycling bins, and encouraging them to clean up after their pets. Students also planted a 12 native shrubs and perennials along the fence below the tennis courts, where the ground is often wet from water running off of the courts and parking lot. Work began on May 26th, and you are openly invited to come and get some exercise on the exercise stations, or take your dog with you! As part of the project, students directed almost all aspects of the project, including the writing of this press release! (Written by: Alexander Sipes, Joshua Unkle, and Shania Wolfe.) For more information about SEEC, please contact Education Program Manager Jaime Belanger at jbelanger@eslc.org or 410.348.5214. SEEC is staffed by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and headquartered at Turners Creek in Kennedyville, MD on land owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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460 Acres in Cecil County Preserved; Will Become Bohemia River State Park

June 7, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 460 Acres in Cecil County Preserved; Will Become Bohemia River State Park The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is preserving 460 acres in Cecil County for the future development of a new state park. The Board of Public Works unanimously approved the acquisition this morning. The new water-access site, located near Chesapeake City, will eventually be called Bohemia River State Park and will complement existing Maryland Park Service properties in the area – Elk Neck, Fair Hill, and Sassafras. This is a big win for land conservation on the Eastern Shore, and more specifically, Cecil County. “Over the course of the past 27 years, ESLC has been involved with literally thousands of Eastern Shore farms. OBX Farms is truly one of the most beautiful we’ve ever assisted in preserving!” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “This purchase will keep the land open, free from future development, and most exciting of all, available to the public for generations to come. ESLC is incredibly proud to play a role in this important legacy.” The acquisition of OBX Farms was fully funded by Program Open Space, which preserves natural areas for public recreation, and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. In addition to existing agricultural land that will most likely continue being farmed, approximately 14,000 feet of riverfront property will now be available to the public for kayakers, standup paddle-boarders, canoers, and other activities. The property’s rich network of riparian forests and tidal and non-tidal wetlands will provide for habitat restoration and water quality benefits. Once the acquisition is complete (projected Fall 2017), the department will develop an interim public access plan for the property, which will enable visitors to enjoy passive, nature-based activities until a master plan can be developed. Public access

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Executive McCarthy ignores county plan

(Op-Ed from Cecil Whig - May 31, 2017) From: Jill E. Burke, Elkton We are responding to County Executive McCarthy’s article in the Whig (March 16), and his response (April 28) to an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun (Feb. 19) regarding Cecil County's tier map and the Comprehensive Plan on which it is supposedly based. Rather than being solely about protecting private property rights, the 2010 Comprehensive Plan states that they should be balanced with the need to manage growth. The 41 individuals on the review committee crafted a plan that reflected their diversity of opinions and put equal, if not more, emphasis on conserving agricultural and forested lands and on keeping our rural areas rural. The tier map adopted by the county in 2012 and recently endorsed by the decidedly un-diverse Tier Map Advisory Committee makes a mockery of our Comprehensive Plan and its commitments to conservation and rural character. Executive McCarthy seeks to be “aligned with state law,” but seems ready to ignore the law when he disagrees with what it tells him to do. The intent of the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 is clear from its title. An interpretation was presented to the Tier Map Advisory Committee as Tier Map No. 11 (Whig March 9, 2017). This map came closer to the legal requirements than anything since Tier Map No. 4 from August 2012. Rather than be insulted by the state’s approach to land use planning, we are insulted that our county executive should so comprehensively ignore our own plan. Jill E. Burke is the president of the Cecil Land Use Association.

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ESLC drops crowdfunding video for The Packing House

Early in 2016, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy identified a vacant factory building in downtown Cambridge Maryland steeped in local history. The 60,000 square foot former manufacturing facility, known throughout the 1900’s as the Phillips Packing Company’s “Factory F”, is all that remains of the vegetable and food packing empire that once employed thousands in Cambridge. In addition to employing and housing much of Cambridge, the canning operation also served as the largest supplier of K-rations to American troops during World War II. The Phillips name was synonymous with the Eastern Shore of Maryland, purchasing millions in local agricultural product from surrounding farms. The company closed in the 1960’s, and the building has been deteriorating ever since. Now, in partnership with Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners – a real estate firm focused on re-building communities by creating vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods built on a foundation of innovation and entrepreneurial activity – ESLC has focused its efforts on transforming the run-down Phillips Factory into The Packing House, a vibrant food, farming, and innovation exchange. While the word and excitement is spreading about The Packing House and its kitchen incubator, oyster bar, fresh foods market, shared innovation hub, microbrewery, and community events space, work cannot begin until ESLC raises the money necessary to begin Phase 1 of the development process. Phase 1 includes the stabilization of the Phillips Packing Co.’s iconic smokestacks. Visible from Rt. 50 by all who travel to and from the beach, these pillars of history are visibly crumbling and are in dire need of being saved. This is where YOU come in. With a donation of $5, $25, $100, or WHATEVER amount you are able to contribute, ESLC can help come up with the necessary funding needed to get the smokestacks repaired and ready to move onto phase 2 of this historic revitalization. With a legacy of

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In Memoriam: ESLC Co-Founder and Community Leader Sandy Hoon

Alexander H. Hoon (Sandy) passed away from natural causes on May 14, 2017 at Heron Point, Chestertown, MD. Sandy was born in Pittsburgh, PA on December 1, 1928 to Marian Holliday Hoon and Dr. Merle Russell Hoon. Sandy was married to Ann Wilmer Hoon on March 17, 1951 in Chestertown, MD. He was the son-in-law of Isabel Perry Wilmer and Chestertown Mayor Philip G. Wilmer. Sandy was predeceased by Ann in August, 2016, and their third son David McGill Hoon who died in June, 2011. He is survived by two other sons: Dr. Alexander Holliday Hoon, Jr. (Cindy) who resides in Ellicott City, MD; and Philip W. Hoon, Esq. (Lisa) who resides in Chestertown; as well as 7 grandchildren, 3 daughters-in-law and one great grandchild. Sandy’s sisters Margaret Hoon Baker (Larry, dec’d) and Nancy Hoon Powell (Bill) survive him, as does his very dear friend/cousin Richard Carter Holliday. Sandy attended Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh) and graduated from Williams College in 1950. He served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed as a First Lieutenant in Korea on April 1, 1951.  He was on active duty until January, 1953. Sandy began his successful career with Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation in 1952.  He retired as a J&L executive in Pittsburgh in 1979.  While there he enjoyed Oakmont Country Club, the Duquesne Club and Fox Chapel Country Club. Ann and Sandy moved to Chestertown in 1979 and restored their family home “Thornton”.  They lived there for 25 years and then moved to Heron Point in Chestertown.  During that period, Sandy was the founder and principal of Chesapeake Land Company, and also managed family farms. In the 1980’s Sandy was a co-founder of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and served as a Director for many years.  He was also a co-founder of the

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Recent Posts

  • 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
  • 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