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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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The Packing House

Saving the Stacks

For several years eyes have been on the towering 90-foot tall smokestacks in Cambridge, MD, but for reasons that create anxiety rather than excitement. The iconic smokestacks have severely deteriorated in decades following the closing of Phillips Packing Company, and the local community been anxious about the potential for the ‘stacks to take a tumble.

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Packing House meetups scheduled

Help us create a dynamic Innovation Hub as a key part of The Packing House project - at the historic Phillips Cannery building in Cambridge. We are holding four September “Meetups” at different locations, with each running from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. A brief presentation will be made by Cross Street Partners and ESLC, and the rest is discussion. Focus on traditional Eastern Shore sectors that also belong to the technology economy: food and agriculture, aquaculture, environmental sciences Unparalleled environment for meeting, collaborating and innovating with others – from inside our community, and beyond it Higher education presence around research and commercialization Compelling exhibit space for public education Come to the one most convenient for you, and share your thoughts about our region’s economic and entrepreneurial future, and feedback on this exciting project. If you have not already RSVP'd, please attend one of the upcoming meetups during which a presentation will be made about the planned Innovation Hub in Cambridge. Pizza, beer, wine, and beverages will be provided. Cambridge Meetup - September 27 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Chestertown Meetup - September 13 5:30pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Easton Meetup - September 14 5:30pm to 7:00 pm RSVP Salisbury Meetup - September 21 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm RSVP   Questions? Please contact ESLC Program Coordinator Rachel Roman at rroman@eslc.org

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Comptroller Franchot to present ESLC with Bright Lights Award

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy invites the public to join us at The Packing House (formerly known as Phillips Packing Co.’s ‘Factory F’ ) on July 31st at 11:30am as Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presents ESLC with the Bright Lights Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship! The “Bright Lights Award” pays tribute to businesses and nonprofit leaders and organizations that foster innovation in their fields. More specifically, the award recognizes and celebrates innovation in the private and nonprofit sectors that strengthen Maryland’s economy, generate jobs and tax revenue, and develop new ideas that more effectively deliver services and products within the marketplace. The Packing House is located at 411 Dorchester Ave., Cambridge. The event will last approximately one hour, with Comptroller Franchot presenting the award at approximately 12pm. A tour featuring discussion about the history and future plans for the building will be available to guests. Walking shoes are encouraged! Speakers: Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of Cambridge; Katie Parks White, Director of Conservation, ESLC; Mike Binko, Founder/CEO, Startup Maryland; Peter Franchot, Comptroller of Maryland; Rob Etgen, Executive Director, ESLC   Note: ESLC is currently crowdfunding for the stabilization of The Packing House smokestacks – an essential part of Phase 1 of the revitalization process. Please contribute and/or help spread the word!

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Maryland Department of Planning announces $90,000 grant for The Packing House smokestack stabilization!

Great news for The Packing House project! The Maryland Department of Planning recently announced that 50 matching grants totaling nearly $2.7M were awarded to non-profits, local jurisdictions, and other heritage tourism organizations including museums, historic preservation, natural resources, cultural, and educational organizations by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA).  Among them was $90,000 awarded for The Packing House - more specifically, the stabilization of the factory smokestacks which are in desperate need of repair. The Packing House grant fell within MHAA's "Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area" (or Dorchester County), which as a whole was awarded $235,000. ESLC also has a crowdfunding site at Razoo.com where an additional $25,000 is trying to be raised to help with a hefty smokestack repair bill. These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland. Tourism is the 10th largest private sector employer in Maryland, providing more than 143,000 jobs and $17 billion of visitor spending annually. Maryland’s Heritage Areas contribute to Maryland tourism by saving and enhancing the places that attract heritage tourists - people who focus their travels on historic sites, museums, cultural activities, or the natural beauty of Maryland’s Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastal areas and Mountain Maryland. For more information about The Packing House, please visit thepackinghousecambridge.com.

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ESLC drops crowdfunding video for The Packing House

Early in 2016, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy identified a vacant factory building in downtown Cambridge Maryland steeped in local history. The 60,000 square foot former manufacturing facility, known throughout the 1900’s as the Phillips Packing Company’s “Factory F”, is all that remains of the vegetable and food packing empire that once employed thousands in Cambridge. In addition to employing and housing much of Cambridge, the canning operation also served as the largest supplier of K-rations to American troops during World War II. The Phillips name was synonymous with the Eastern Shore of Maryland, purchasing millions in local agricultural product from surrounding farms. The company closed in the 1960’s, and the building has been deteriorating ever since. Now, in partnership with Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners – a real estate firm focused on re-building communities by creating vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods built on a foundation of innovation and entrepreneurial activity – ESLC has focused its efforts on transforming the run-down Phillips Factory into The Packing House, a vibrant food, farming, and innovation exchange. While the word and excitement is spreading about The Packing House and its kitchen incubator, oyster bar, fresh foods market, shared innovation hub, microbrewery, and community events space, work cannot begin until ESLC raises the money necessary to begin Phase 1 of the development process. Phase 1 includes the stabilization of the Phillips Packing Co.’s iconic smokestacks. Visible from Rt. 50 by all who travel to and from the beach, these pillars of history are visibly crumbling and are in dire need of being saved. This is where YOU come in. With a donation of $5, $25, $100, or WHATEVER amount you are able to contribute, ESLC can help come up with the necessary funding needed to get the smokestacks repaired and ready to move onto phase 2 of this historic revitalization. With a legacy of

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