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!
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
With the conclusion of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, so ends an inspirational journey for one ESLC staff member. Community Projects Manager Carmen Farmer and the U.S. Women's Rugby Team took 5th place in the sport's Olympic debut - a valiant effort and very respectable finish that included a 12-12 tie with the top-seeded and eventual gold medal winner, Australia. Farmer, with her 6' 1" frame and mere 4 years of rugby experience, left it all on the field alongside her talented teammates. The women of U.S. Rugby will most certainly be back as a team to be reckoned with. Sadly, Carmen will not be back at ESLC headquarters in the coming days following her Olympic journey. The former lawyer and sparkplug behind the Eastern Shore Conservation Center project has accepted a position with Colorado Open Lands, one of the state's largest land conservation organizations. As a conservation project coordinator, her position will resemble that of ESLC Conservation Easement Program Manager Jared Parks, and will cover the entire state of Colorado. While all of us here at ESLC headquarters are of course sad to lose such a talented and dedicated member of our team, we wish Carmen nothing but the best on her new adventure out west. Carmen began with ESLC in 2012 on a part-time basis, having become familiar with ESLC while working in a law firm representing land owners. "I had tremendous respect for ESLC," recalls Carmen. It was only a matter of time before she was hired full-time as the community projects coordinator, working alongside manager Brad Rogers. For the better part of the last year, Carmen has lived in California with the rest of the U.S. women's rugy team, juggling an intense training schedule while contributing about 20 hours a week remotely for ESLC. "I would not have been able to do
Food. With the exception of water, perhaps our most basic human need. In addition to shelter and clothing, it’s one of the few absolute commodities that every one of us needs to survive. Then why is approximately one-third of the food the world produces going to waste – simultaneously producing another estimated 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases in the process? All of this while more than 800 million human beings go to bed hungry every night. The problem isn’t just global. In this country alone, the USDA estimates 40% of all food goes uneaten while 15.3 million children live in food insecure households. Why, right here in Talbot County, approximately 40% of the children who attend Easton Elementary School come from households receiving some sort of food assistance. The problem of food waste, whether in the production, distribution, consumption, or waste management aspects of its lifespan, is an almost unescapable topic. Just today I was forwarded an article about how world-famous chefs are working together at the Olympic Games in Rio to salvage the copious amounts of wasted food from the Olympic village and transforming it into restaurant-quality dishes for hungry locals. The Eastern Shore might play a bigger role than you think, too. Sure, the Shore is a region that doesn’t normally come to mind when discussing widespread hunger. But, it does produce roughly 6% of the nation’s chicken; and a majority of Maryland’s wheat, soybeans, and corn, therefore representing a significant spoke in a food production wheel that doesn’t seem to be rolling as smoothly as everyone would like. To this degree, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has planned for its 17th Annual Planning Conference to be focused on this very topic. “Food Fight! Healthy? Sustainable? Realistic?”, happening on Thursday, November 10th at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, will host interested
As we were walking through a patch of young forest on a deer trail filled with periodic spasms of multiflora rose sticker bushes and biting June flies, the “at risk” teenage students from Kent County High School, voiced their displeasure with screams and groans of “You can’t do this to us,” and “This is boring!” Still we, the teacher and myself, continued walking, issuing words of encouragement and adding things like, “This is what it may have been like before the first humans walked this land, when there were still mastodons and caribou and bears, long before the Chesapeake Bay was formed,” and “You’re walking a trail like the ones the first Americans traveled, following their food source into this untouched wilderness.” Then, as we approached the older forest of towering oaks and beech trees, with a forest floor shaded out by the thick canopy of leaves, thus mostly cleared of obstacles, you could feel an almost imperceptible modicum of attention from the students. The demands of a confined classroom day after day, often cause attention fatigue in students. This symptom is the result of a setting nearly vacant of natural stimuli and students’ individual insecurities in the classroom. A teacher’s often futile attempts at, “let me have your attention,” voiced repeatedly during the school day are replaced at SEEC (Sassafras Environmental Education Center) by the ancient rhythms of man’s evolving relationship with the wilderness. At last we reach our destination. A beaver dam. I step down the slope to stand next to the lodge built into the bank at the edge of the beaver pond. Ready to explain the ecosystem created by the beaver family, I suddenly see something move out of the corner of my eye at the top of the lodge. One of my unvoiced fears is about to be
ESLC and partners of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (ESCC) were happy to recently welcome Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD, 8th District) as he toured areas of particular interest around the Eastern Shore. ESLC's Executive Director Rob Etgen, along with various staff members, provided a tour of the Center and gave insight into some of the key projects we are currently working on. Projects discussed included the "Reimagining of Chesterfield (Carter Farm)" effort in Centreville, the Phillips "Factory F" revitalization effort in Cambridge, and our ongoing coastal resiliency program. Rep. Van Hollen also spoke with ESCC tenants/partners Bishop Joel Johnson of the Oaks of Mamre Library and consultant Kathy Bosin. ESLC and its partners welcome all elected officials and interested groups to tour the Conservation Center. Please contact Facilities Manager Owen Bailey at 410.690.4603 for more information.
Congratulations! YOU did it. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make our spring fundraising campaign to raise $25,000 a success! As of yesterday we have received $27,300 with additional donations still trickling in. Please know that this type of financial support is absolutely critical for ESLC to continue its programmatic efforts relating to the health and sustainability of the Eastern Shore. To break it down a bit further: For comparison, our 2015 spring appeal raised $23,975
Video from ESLC-led Chesterfield (Carter Farm) Community Meeting featuring speaker Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute. (Video courtesy of QACTV.) Powerpoint Presentation: Ed McMahon Eastern Shore Workshop Handouts from the meeting: Article - Conservation Communities Article - Secrets of Successful Communities (PCJ) Article - The End of the Strip
An engaged crowd of approximately 60 Centreville residents showed up to the Wye River Upper School on Tuesday evening (6/14) to listen to Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute, who spoke for more than an hour about current, succesful town development strategies around the country. Mr. McMahon fielded quesitons following his presentation and spoke directly as to the current potential/importance of Chesterfield (Carter Farm) in creating a vibrant, future Centreville. The entire session was filmed by Queen Anne's Public Television and will be played during the weeks to follow. Community Conversation at 408 Chesterfield Ave., June 17th & 24th If you missed Tuesday's community meeting or the first Friday charrette on June 3rd, not to worry - ESLC is hosting two more opportunitites to come out to the Chesterfield property, walk the land, and have your input heard. Snacks, lemonade, and cornhole will be available to help ease you into the weekend:)
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