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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Cecil County Horse Farm Protected Forever

532-acre conservation easement donated near Chesapeake City

Queenstown, Maryland – April 2, 2008 – A key property in Cecil County’s horse country has been protected forever, thanks to the generous donation of a 532-acre conservation easement on Riveredge Farm. Owned by John and Leslie Malone, Riveredge Farm is situated just south of Chesapeake City on the east side of the Cayots Corner Preservation Area, which is the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation’s largest block of protected land on the Eastern Shore.  The permanent preservation of Riveredge Farm brings the total acreage of the protected block to over 5,000 acres.  Previously a prestigious thoroughbred horse farm known as Sycamore Hall Farm, Riveredge Farm was on track become a 58-lot residential development before the Malones purchased the property last year.  Now protected forever, the farm will be converted to a premier sporthorse operation to include training, breeding, and events. Scott and Susanne Hassler of Hassler Dressage will oversee the management of all activities at Riveredge.  The Malones are no strangers to land conservation.  A former director of The Nature Conservancy’s national board, Mr. Malone’s holdings top more than 500,000 acres nationwide. 

The Riveredge Farm conservation easement, jointly held by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) is the largest donated conservation easement project completed by MET since 2003 and largest by ESLC since 2000. Adam Block from MET managed the project on MET’s behalf.

“Protection of Riveredge is a real victory for the community,” said Sandra Edwards, ESLC’s Land Protection Specialist. “Horse farms are an important icon in this area and as we watch the number of working horse farms dwindle, it is very gratifying to see such a beautiful symbol of that industry protected forever from development. “ 

In 2004, ESLC unsuccessfully attempted to purchase the property to save it from development.
“The end result is the best we could have hoped for,” said Edwards, who led negotiations for the conservation easement. “I couldn’t be happier and I know the surrounding community is very relieved and thrilled with the outcome.”

For more details about ESLC’s land protection and land use planning activities, to become a member or learn how you can protect your land, please visit eslc.org.

ESLC is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of farmland and habitat on the Eastern Shore. Funded by member contributions, ESLC helps landowners to discover, evaluate and implement any of the voluntary land preservation options available.  Since its inception in 1990, ESLC has helped landowners to protect more than 43,000 acres of farmland and important habitat on 215 Eastern Shore properties.
Visit eslc.org for more information.

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