Board Spotlight: Howard Freedlander
Where are you from and what is your background?
I was raised in Baltimore. I attended college at the University of Pennsylvania. My wife Liz, daughter Kate and I moved to Talbot County in the fall of 1976, setting down our roots for 44 years before moving to Annapolis in November 2020.
How did you become involved with conservation work?
As a deputy treasurer, with responsibility as the treasurer’s liaison to the board of public works, I frequently dealt with Program Open Space, Rural Legacy and Maryland Environmental Trust transactions. I became impressed with the state’s land preservation initiatives. When I retired, I wanted to be part of conservation on the shore. I knew no better way to pursue my passion than by associating myself with ESLC.
How did you become involved with ESLC?
I first served as a non-board member on the public policy and advocacy committee. I learned how ESLC was applying its expertise to land use on the shore, trying either to block a proposed development or work with the developer to produce plans that were less dense and more livable.
What is your favorite part of working with ESLC?
I loved serving as Land Committee Chair, addressing ESLC’s primary mission. Most recently, I felt honored to serve on the search committee that recommended the hiring of Steve Kline. It was probably the most important service I could provide as a board member.
What is something you wish more people knew about ESLC?
Not only has ESLC conserved roughly 65,000 acres, it provides vigilant stewardship of its invaluable easements, while retaining longstanding relationships with landowners. These partnerships, which extend through generations, are the glue that preserves the goodness of the Eastern Shore.
What is your favorite thing about Maryland’s Eastern Shore?
Its lifestyle, its rural character, its sense of pride and its people—while my wife and I physically moved from the shore, our spiritual roots are strong and lasting. I wish that more people understood the Eastern Shore has an unmistakable culture and sense of place that glorifies its past and values its future. While its ties to its abundant water and its rich agriculture are clearly visible, shore residents care deeply about education, health care, commerce and the environment. Pragmatism drives shore residents.