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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’s Carmen Farmer heads west following Rio Olympics

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

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Grab a tomato for the Food Fight!

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

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At Risk Teenagers and a Water Snake – A Memory from Wayne Gilchrest, SEEC Program Director

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

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Congressman Van Hollen visits Conservation Center

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.  

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Spring Appeal Update: We Reached Our Goal!

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

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Video and Presentation link from Chesterfield (Carter Farm) Community Meeting – June 14, 2016

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  

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Chesterfield Community Meeting a Success; Two More Charrettes in June

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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Reimagining Chesterfield (Carter Farm) Community Meeting

SHARE YOUR DREAMS FOR A VIBRANT Centreville! Residents will want to attend Tuesday's community meeting at theWye River Upper School from 6-8pm as we 'Reimagine Chesterfield (Carter Farm)'! We've enlisted speaker Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute - nationally known as a thought-provoking & leading authority on topics such as the links between health and the built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation. This is an interactive workshop and community input is wanted. Mr. McMahon has traveled the country/world and will share inspirational examples of effective town development strategies. We hope to see many of you there! More on Mr. McMahon and his credentials may be found here.

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“ESLC Wants to Think Big and Smart with Historic Chesterfield (Carter Farm) in Centreville”

(This is an article and video interview that was published in The Chestertown Spy on May 30, 2016.) If there was a plot of land that combines the importance of history, conservation, land use and the dreams of a new Centreville it undoubtedly would be the Carter Farm on Chesterfield Road. Owned for decades by the late Judge Clayton Carter, the 72-acre property is now actively being considered as a top priority project of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. It is not hard to understand why the ESLC is seriously considering the two sites for both open space and smart growth residential use. The farm and house are located only a few minutes walk from Centreville’s historic downtown but has been zoned to accommodate 132 new homes if entirely built out. As the ESLC’s Center for Towns director, Katie Parks, notes in her interview with the Spy, ESLC is eager to work with a multitude of different community stakeholders to look hard and long at how the site can best be developed over the next few years. If a consensus can be created, ESLC and the greater Centreville community might indeed have the beginnings of a transformational scheme for rural towns on the Mid-Shore. This video is approximately five minutes in length.

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Reimagining Carter Farm, Centreville

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has worked since 1990 to preserve and sustain the communities of the Eastern Shore, and the lands and waters that connect them.  Toward this mission, we have helped protect over 57,000 acres of prime agricultural and natural lands, which in partnership with other conservation efforts means nearly a quarter of our rural lands are protected.  More recently, ESLC launched a program called the Center for Towns that endeavors to provide support and actions that help advance our region’s small towns as strong, vibrant, and well-defined places. From this lens of growing strong small towns, ESLC views the development of the Carter Farm as one of the most important opportunities that exists for growing a vibrant Centreville.  The Carter Farm is an approximately 72 acre site comprised of two parcels in Centreville, Maryland.  The properties, currently zoned for residential development with an approved 138 unit subdivision, include a mix of open field and forested land in the Critical Area. After nearly two decades of interest, ESLC has secured a six-month option to purchase the properties.  Our goal during the next six-months is to allow for a community visioning and transparent public process, creation of a set of criteria and performance standards for future development, and development of a master plan that incorporates protection of natural features while supporting development that is consistent with the scale, pace and character of Centreville. In addition to public input, we will work with renowned design and development professionals, to generate ideas and innovations that can help make this project design a valuable asset for the Centreville community. While we are working towards a more determinant vision, we will be considering long-term impacts for Centreville, connection and value to the full community, connectivity and transportation, environmental protection, and public access.  Preliminary ideas include leveraging

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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