Learning and Growing in Conservation
The Eastern Shore Conservation Center (ESCC) will transform an abandoned historic building and a neighboring fire-damaged historic building in Easton, Maryland, into a thriving hub of learning and collaboration for regional nonprofits. This green campus not only will be home to community-based and conservation nonprofits; it will be a place for community members to gather for classes and meetings, with open areas and conference rooms open for public use.
Inspired by Millers Court and Union Mill in Baltimore, as well as other successful nonprofit projects, the Eastern Shore Conservation Center will create a working home and laboratory by cooperative effort of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and partner organizations and businesses concerned with land conservation, land use, environmental stewardship and education for children, adults, and professionals on the Delmarva Peninsula.
The historic McCord Laundry Building and Brick Row are part of Easton’s National Register Historic District. Though currently abandoned, they are beautiful examples of early 20th Century commercial architecture. The project is designed to have a catalytic effect on the South Washington Street corridor, where the renovation of these dilapidated buildings has the ability to reenergize an important connection between the northern and southern neighborhoods in Easton. What is now vacant and lifeless will be a vibrant hub of community, conservation and learning.
It will bring approximately 50 jobs to downtown Easton and will serve as an example for conservationists, urban planning, community design and redevelopment experts of what can be done to retain healthy, walkable and economically sustainable rural towns.
ESLC will relocate to the building, and nonprofit partners, including the Town Creek Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, are signing seven-year leases to be part of this collaborative environment. It will house public space for educational programming, forums, concerts and meetings about issues concerning Eastern Shore residents and organizations. It will offer a café and outdoor public leisure space to encourage conversation and collaboration among the tenants, as well as among community members.
Most importantly, it will be the catalyst for nonprofit organizations to work to address common challenges to our beautiful home on the Delmarva Peninsula and to educate and inspire the next generation of community-minded conservationists.