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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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Climate Change Conference to be Held in Easton, April 1st

EASTON – The Eastern Shore is the third most susceptible region to the effects of sea level rise in the country. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), a progressive, environmentally-focused nonprofit organization headquartered in Easton, will host the half-day conference, Unsinkable Eastern Shore II: Rural America Responds to Climate Change, on Saturday, April 1st from 9am to 1pm. The event will be held at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center – the former McCord laundry facility which ESLC rehabilitated and has since occupied with several other conservation groups since 2015. The event is $20 to attend and includes breakfast, two panel discussions, and presentations by two keynote speakers. Also included with admission is a copy of speaker John Englander’s book High Tide on Main Street, which Politico Magazine called “one of the 50 most important books to read in 2016.” Attendees may register online but are encouraged to do so soon, as seating is limited. The conference will be hosted by ESLC’s Coastal Resilience Manager, Brian Ambrette, who has been working with town and county government on the Mid and Upper Shore for more than two years, helping to bring awareness about the effects of climate change – most notably, sea level rise – as well as working to help implement sound planning in the form of mitigation strategies and town/county comprehensive plans. “I hope our audience will learn how their communities and their neighbors are embracing change as an opportunity to innovate and make the systems we rely on stronger and greener”, notes Ambrette. “I am excited about the new ideas that our keynote speakers will inject into the conversation.” While the conference panels boast a mix of knowledgeable educators and emergency management professionals, the inclusion of oceanographer, author, and consultant John Englander is perhaps the most impressive addition to the conference. As a leading

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Sen. Cardin to visit Phillips Packing Plant in Cambridge Friday, March 10th

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will be visiting Cambridge, Maryland on Friday, March 10, 2017. More specifically, he will join representatives from the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners, and Preservation Maryland for a tour and media availability regarding The Packing House – a historic tax credit rehabilitation project. In addition to addressing the media and answering questions immediately following the tour, Senator Cardin will spotlight his new legislation to improve the federal historic tax credit program, which will benefit rural communities and small towns across Maryland. A partnership between ESLC, Cross Street Partners, and the City of Cambridge, The Packing House (ThePackingHouseCambridge.com) is an urban revitalization project that seeks to repurpose the historic, 60,000 square-foot Phillips Cannery building in Cambridge into an active, mixed-use plan for office and food-related innovation. This structure is the last standing piece of the storied Phillips Packing Company empire, which employed thousands in Cambridge and served as the largest supplier of rations to American troops in World War II. The project was recently awarded a $3M historic tax credit for revitalization of a structure located within an underserved community. Plans include an array of food-related uses that acknowledge and support local hunger and nutrition needs, building off of the Eastern Shore’s agricultural resources and a growing local food economy of growers, makers, distributors, retailers, and restaurants. The ambitious vision to renovate and repurpose the former Phillips ‘Factory F’ is key to the continued revitalization of Cambridge, including Cannery Park – the adjacent 6.6 acres of land which includes the Cambridge Creek headwater area that will begin a stream restoration process this coming spring. The event is free and open to interested members of the public, friends of ESLC, and the media. For members of the media planning to attend the grand opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center immediately afterwards, a

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Editorial regarding Cecil County Tier Map issue

(This is an editorial from the March 8th edition of Cecil Whig. It can be found here: http://www.cecildaily.com/opinion/editorials/article_8c522eab-ea67-541e-bbce-86557515cf24.html Missed opportunity When County Executive Alan McCarthy announced his appointments for a tier map advisory committee late last week, it left us scratching our heads. The group was requested by the Cecil County Council to review the controversial land use planning map that the county adopted in late December over the objections of local and statewide conservationists. The intent of the council’s request — at least from our vantage point — was to give serious weight to the criticisms levied by environmentalists and determine whether further restrictions to future development rights should be made. Instead, McCarthy chose to appoint two farmers, two people with connections to the development and real estate industry and a private landowner who had called for the end of tier maps to his committee. Essentially, his appointments stacked the deck with those whose direct interests will be ensuring that as much land stays out of restrictive zoning as possible — and he wasn’t exactly coy about that move either. “I have appointed a knowledgeable and diverse group of individuals that I am confident will achieve my ultimate goals of protecting property rights and ensuring that our Comprehensive Plan is not rendered moot by excessive and unnecessary state legislation,” he said in a statement. Without anyone with a conservation background serving on the committee, how could the concerns of proper land use planning and preservation be adequately vetted? When we talk with recent transplants to Cecil County, almost always the reason for their arrival is the land’s unspoiled rural charm. Without proper land use planning, however, the county is left at risk of spotty development, potential harm to tributary waters and wasted investment in infrastructure upgrades. It’s readily apparent, however, that McCarthy shares the same worldview as

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‘Love a Local’ Valentine’s Day campaign results!

Thank you to those who made in gift to ESLC in honor of a loved one this Valentine's Day! The campaign helped raise some necessary funding for our organization - as well as some attention for our favorite Eastern Shore restaurants making an effort to source food locally. With a total of 20 votes, Barbara's on the Bay of Betterton, MD is the winner of our Love a Local contest. We're happy to report that all of the participating eateries received at least one vote:)  

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Where to opt outside on the Shore

Sure the weather is getting colder, but that doesn't mean we can't still reap the benefits of traversing our local lands, whether it be on a hike, bike, or whatever it is that gets you outside! We created the following list of trails and open spaces as a handy reminder to get out and take a walk in nature during this holiday season. These places are all located in the Mid and Upper Shore counties where ESLC currently serves.         Cecil County - Turkey Point Lighthouse http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/central/elknecklighthouse.aspx Kent County - SEEC @ Turner's Creek Park  http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/sassafras.aspx Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge https://www.fws.gov/refuge/eastern_neck/ Queen Anne’s County - Wye Island State Park http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/wyeisland.aspx Tuckahoe State Park http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/tuckahoe.aspx Adkins Arboretum http://www.adkinsarboretum.org/ Caroline County - Lynch Preserve https://www.eslc.org/land-preservation/preserves/ Talbot County - Pickering Creek http://pickeringcreek.audubon.org/ Dorchester County - Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/ *Note: Keywallace Trail is closed certain dates for deer management, be sure to check dates before hiking and wear boots. We would like to encourage people to share their photos with ESLC via Facebook and Instagram at @eshorelandc

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A loss for Maryland’s land preservation community – John Hutson

John Hutson, a leader in Maryland’s land preservation community who assisted in the protection of more than 43,000 acres throughout the state, died of cancer on Tuesday, November 22 in Franklin, Tennessee. He began his career with the Maryland Department of Agriculture at the Charles County Soil Conservation District. In 1984 and transferred to the Maryland Environmental Trust in 1989.  Mr. Hutson was hired as an easement planner and was serving as the manager of the Easement Program manager when he retired in 2014. During that time, he worked with 265 families who voluntarily protected 43,500 acres of farms, forests and historic properties.  After retirement from the state, he worked with the Scenic Rivers Land Trust and the Land Preservation Trust assisting in the stewardship of their protected properties. Mr. Hudson loved the land and the people he worked with throughout some of the most beautiful areas of the state.  His daughter, Erin Meold said “he loved walking the properties and taking photos.  He loved talking to all the different people involved and learning the farm history.  He taught me what it meant to really enjoy what you to do make a living”. He was a friend and mentor to many entering the land preservation field, always exhibiting an exemplary spirit and dedication.  One of the many people he mentored is Jared Parks from the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy “He helped me cut my teeth in this field on some very interesting projects on the Eastern Shore.  They don’t make better people than John, or people with a bigger heart”. Rob Etgen, director of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy: “John was ESLC's longest running easement partner from MET staff, a fast friend to all who worked with him, and a dear personal friend of mine. He was also the “Dad of the Year’ for

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Official “Food Fight” conference agenda released

ESLC has released the agenda for its 17th annual Planning Conference to be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. The event, “Food Fight! Healthy? Sustainable? Realistic?” is an all-day affair that boasts an impressive list of national and regional speakers. Attendees should expect to be engaged in interactive sessions with the goal of helping to discover what an optimal food system based on Eastern Shore agriculture would look like in the future. Click 17th APC Agenda-final for the speakers, topics, and times. Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde, Baltimore’s first winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef (Mid-Atlantic), was recently confirmed as a speaker at the conference. Gjerde’s presentation, entitled “From My Perspective — My Take on Healthy, Local and Sustainable,” will provide an informed view of what a celebrated chef in a major metropolitan restaurant goes through on a daily basis in order to prepare and serve healthy, locally sourced food. -ESLC Staff

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Food and the Phillips Factory F

Have you heard about what's going on with the Phillips Factory F project in Cambridge, MD? There's a lot of conversation being generated around food production needs such as community kitchens, incubators, distribution, and co-packing. In an effort to bring all of these ideas, needs, and desires together, we are initiating the first of several community input sessions to determine the viability of a kitchen incubator/accelerator space as part of the Food and Farming Exchange reuse of the Phillips Packing Company, Factory F. Please join us on Tuesday, October 18th, 6:00—7:30 pm or Wednesday, October 19th 8:00— 9:30am at Chesapeake College, (Cambridge location) 416-418 Race Street, Cambridge, MD 21613. If you cannot attend but would like to share your thoughts or be informed about future meetings. Please feel free to email rroman(at)eslc.org. We want to make sure we hear from as many folks as possible during this discovery!

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Chesterfield still lacks development partner

For the last few months, ESLC has worked to advance community conversation around the eventual development of Chesterfield (Carter Farm), in Centreville, Maryland. We see Chesterfield as a once in a lifetime opportunity for Centreville to redesign its own front porch on the beautiful Corsica River, and we are deeply grateful to the communities and leadership of Centreville for partnering with ESLC to reimagine this gem. We held formal and informal meetings with Centreville residents and town representatives allowing a transparent and public process that established guiding considerations for development. Coupled with community input, we consulted with planning and design industry professionals to generate innovative ideas and refine development parameters. Based on input, we carved out the following design considerations: (1) Access for public open space and recreation, including integration into the town trail system, (2) Preservation of the Carter farmhouse, (3) Agricultural components, including robust community gardens and other scalable uses, (4) Commercial such as a destination inn, market and/or farm to table restaurant, and (5) Housing - a mix of types, sizes and price points. The resulting vision celebrates a mix of commercial, residential, and abundant community uses. Our vision leverages off public access connections, includes the Carter Farmhouse and a new destination farm to table inn as amenities which would further connect communities to the land, and which retains the farm’s agricultural heritage though community gardens. The vision integrates with the trail system around Town, opens access to the Corsica River, and invites Town residents and visitors onto the property as a hub of commercial and community activities with a balance of housing to add to a core of downtown energy. In order for ESLC to further advance the conversation, and refine the use vision, we need to identify a financial or development partner. With our contract having ended at

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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