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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, MRDC Host Water Resources Workshop

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), a private, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of farmland and habitat on the Eastern Shore and the Maryland Rural Development Corporation recently hosted a “Smart About Water’ Workshop. Held in Georgetown,, Maryland, the workshop brought 40 town managers, commissioners, and planning commission members together with county health department officials, water system operators and watershed protection groups to hear from experts in the areas of source water protection and water resources planning. The workshop is one of many efforts by ESLC to assist towns and municipalities in their implementation of House Bill 1141.  Presenters at the workshop included Joe Everd of the Maryland Rural Water Association, Tucker Moorshead, CEO of EarthData, Inc, John Beskid, Director of Environmental Health for Kent County, Henry Burden, Planner for the Town of Port Deposit and former Town Administrator for the Town of Charlestown and Peter Johnston, community planner and founder of Peter Johnston & Associates, LLC. Topics discussed included wellhead and water system protection, legislative updates, and case study examples.  “We are so pleased to be able to provide this type of workshop as a continuing resource for our towns and municipalities as they tackle important planning issues,’ said Jacob Day, Town Planning Manager for ESLC. “This type of information sharing should help our local planners really streamline their individual efforts and result in the best ideas being implemented in future planning efforts.” Additional workshops and other educational activities are planned in the future. For more information or to sign up for ESLC updates on this and other issues, please visit www.eslc.org.  About the Organizers: The Workshop was organized and presented by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Maryland Rural Development Corporation with support from the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Program and the US EPA. This year, EPA and

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ESLC Seeks Immediate Conservation Buyer for Cecil Farm

 Queenstown, Maryland – March 10, 2009 - Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), a private, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of farmland and habitat on the Eastern Shore has announced its intention to protect 355 acres of farmland from development. ESLC  has arranged a 45-day option contract to purchase Browning Creek Farm, and is seeking an immediate  Conservation Buyer to then accept the Agreement of Sale. Offers are due by the close of business on March 20, 2009.  Located in southern Cecil County, Maryland along Route 213 (Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway), and known locally as “Needmore” and the “Pumpkin Shell,” Browning Creek Farm consists of 355 acres, including approximately 220 acres of tillable ground, 65 acres of grassland, and 60 acres of forest.  The address of the farm is 5224 Augustine Herman Highway, Earleville, Maryland. It is located across the road from a 1600-acre block of preserved land, including Anchorage Farm, which ESLC helped protect in 2001. Browning Creek Farm has about 3,800 feet of scenic frontage along Chesapeake Country, and a tributary of the Bohemia River borders the entire back of the property, providing scenic water views and an important forested riparian corridor for wildlife habitat and water quality.  This is ESLC’s second attempt to protect the farm. Plans to purchase the farm in 2007 and transfer that contract to a conservation buyer were unsuccessful. Browning Creek Farm, under its current ownership, received preliminary plat approval last summer for 47 residential lots, which is the reason for ESLC’s continued efforts to buy and protect the farm.  After transfer to a conservation buyer, a conservation easement will be purchased on the property, so the farm will be permanently preserved.  “This is such a special property for Cecil County and we are really grateful for the second chance to protect

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Oxford Family Leaves Bequest to ESLC

Monies Being Used to Leverage Funding Sources to Fund Land Protection ESLC has announced the receipt of a generous bequest from the estates of William and Mary Thompson of Oxford. Most of the bequest will go toward ESLC’s Stewardship Endowment and matching funds that can be used to leverage County and Federal dollars to protect more farmland. In an effort to help increase and improve the options available for farmers wishing to protect their land, ESLC has dedicated $200,000 of the bequest to match County contributions towards Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection (FRPP) conservation easement purchases in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties. Eastern Shore farms are critical to the region’s economy and rural way of life. Interest among farmers in selling development rights has outstripped available funding sources, and that trend is likely to increase as budgets tighten at the local and state level in the next few years. The FRPP program purchases conservation easements on highly productive farms meeting a rigorous set of criteria. The program pays for 50% of the value of development rights and requires a 50% match, 25% of which must be cash. Often landowners opt to donate remaining 25% of the easement value, and they can take a significant tax deduction for that gift. Using these dedicated private funds, ESLC will match County funds up to 12.5% of the conservation easement purchase price in order to make up the total 25% cash matching requirement. This small contribution of County funds would leverage 87.5% of the funds needed to purchase development rights on prime agricultural lands, bringing in $1.6 million for land protection in that county. In the recent past, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy has utilized these Federal dollars to protect highly productive farmland on the Marshyhope River and to assist local young farmers in purchasing

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Cambridge Waterfront 2020 Meetings

Cambridge Waterfront 2020  Cambridge - As part of the process to update its Comprehensive Plan, the City of Cambridge hosted a two day "Design Charrette" at Governor’s Hall at Sailwinds Park to help shape the future of the city’s waterfront. The program brought together approximately 60 waterfront property owners, city leaders and members of the general public: including representatives from the Richardson Maritime Museum, the Dorchester Historical Society, Sailwinds Park, Inc., Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Shore Health Systems, and the West End Citizens Association, among many others. The city was represented by the Mayor and Commissioners, as well as the Cambridge Economic Development Department, the Planning Office, and the Office of Housing and Community Development. A series of public meetings will continue the effort to obtain broad community input and to refine the vision discussed at the charrette. These meetings will be hosted throughout the first few months of 2009 at various locations. To date, three meetings have been scheduled:   Tuesday, January 6th at 7pm, City Planning & Zoning Meeting at City Council Chambers  Wed., January 14th at 7pm, Dorchester County Historical Society 902 LaGrange Avenue  Thursday, January 15th at 7pm, Sojourner-Douglass College, 824 Fairmont Avenue  Friday, January 23rd at 7pm, Victoria Gardens Inn 101 Oakley Street: hosted by WECA  Monday, February 2nd at 7pm, Cambridge Main Street Board Meeting, location to be determined    Residents are invited to attend to help create a unified plan designed by the community, to enhance the city and sustain its future economic growth. The focus area for the Charrette includes the shore along the Choptank River from Great Marsh Park, into Cambridge Creek and continuing on to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort. Most of the participants’ discussions at the charrette centered on public access to the water, the mix of residential and commercial projects, and the linkages among the various waterfront

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ESLC Announces Expanded Work with Towns

Non-Profit Welcomes Salisbury Native to Staff Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is pleased to announce the addition of Jacob Day to its staff. Day, who is originally from Wicomico County, joins the staff as a Town Planning Manager, to offer assistance to the Eastern Shore’s towns on growth and planning issues. He will be responsible for launching a small town planning initiative that aims to make available the most applicable and effective town planning tools, techniques, services, and models of how healthy, strong communities grow sustainably. As a primary part of this, Day will also provide immediate support to local governments who are addressing the new comprehensive plan elements of MD House Bill 1141, namely the water resource element and the municipal growth element. "We are so pleased to add Jake to our staff to fill this critical need here on the Shore ," said Amy Owsley, ESLC’s Director of Land Use Planning. "Jake’s background and expertise are ideally suited to help understand the land use planning needs of Eastern Shore small towns and villages and create important partnerships to help build the capacity of local government planning." This planner position is not intended to replicate or replace the services of the MD Department of Planning circuit riders, or the direct technical services provided by consultants that some towns are hiring to write the 1141 comp plan elements. "Our Eastern Shore towns are at the heart of sound land use planning—the growth towns select today will define our region for generations," said Owsley. It’s going to take all hands on deck to give towns the resources they need, and this position is one piece of that help." A Salisbury native, Jake has focused much of his previous work on sustainable economic, energy, and land development on the Delmarva Peninsula. He previously served as

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Recent Posts

  • Closing 2021 by Closing on Two New Easements
  • Staff Highlight: Sam Pugh, Advancement Assistant
  • Cornell Grant Partners Two Conservation-Based Non-Profits on MD Eastern Shore
  • With Gratitude, a Final Note from Former ESLC President, Rob Etgen
  • Staff Highlight: Bethany Straus, Communications Coordinator
  • ESLC Receives Over $3 Million in Funding Through Rural Legacy Program
  • A ‘Bicibus’ Hits the Road in Spain
  • Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Announces Selection of New President
  • Staff Highlight: Julia Babbitt Williams, Manager of Grants and Advancement
  • Staff Highlight: Alex Kazer, Conservation Specialist
  • Half-Earth Day 2021 – Message from the President
  • Staff Highlight: Sara Ramotnik, Policy Manager
  • ESLC Helps Chestertown to Install Pinch Points at Intersection for Pedestrian Safety
  • Staff Highlight: Larisa Prezioso, Restoration Specialist
  • Delmarva-Based Conservation Partnership Awarded $1.5 Million Grant Through North American Wetland Conservation Act