Eastern Shore Land Conservancy





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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 Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC) was founded in 2010 by current Program Director Wayne Gilchrest. SEEC’s mission is to provide sequential, annual outdoor experiences leading to a population of future Eastern Shore citizens who will be capable of living compatibly with nature’s design. While SEEC works primarily with Kent County Public School Students, we routinely provide programming to a number of groups from the tristate area. SEEC educates approximately 3,000 students annually throughout the 1200 acres (Sassafras Natural Resource Management area) state park; Turner’s Creek county party 150 acres. SEEC also educates youth from the Kent County Parks & Recreation summer program, KCPS Summer School student, youth incarcerated parents, youth incarcerated at a juvenile detention center, and homeless youth and their families.

Elementary school students experiencing hands-on outdoor learning at SEEC.

A Low-Impact Footprint with a BIG Effect

The work of this small environmental education center affects thousands of people per year and makes a big contribution to our community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. SEEC’s programs are used by children and adults alike. Its agro-ecology programming is aligned with Environmental Literacy and Next Generation Science Standards. Through its environmental education programming, SEEC provides unique and meaningful opportunities for K–12 students to participate in hands-on learning activities. Students often hike, fish, canoe, and garden while they learn about environmental concepts. SEEC also addresses the need of food instability in the county by delivering produce from the one-acre student garden to the local food pantry. SEEC is one piece in a larger tapestry of values-driven initiatives in our region, but we’re proud to positively affect the lives of so many through the work we do here.

SEEC is a fun place to learn because after your work is done we get to play with our friends, go hiking, pick vegetables and plant seeds.Alantis, Student

Student garden plots at SEEC.

Elementary school students learning about how plants use water and soil.

Elementary school students learning from a volunteer mentor about fishing and Chesapeake Bay ecology.

Volunteers Make the Difference

Volunteers play a major role in day to day operations of SEEC. Volunteers can help during school field trips and other educational purposes, in the garden, trail maintenance, and other volunteer events.

Our volunteers help us meet our mission goals and service the community in many ways based on their position.

Lead Volunteers serve to expand environmental programming that SEEC offers. They manage their own projects, assist staff in administrative duties, and often serve in key roles to maintain relationships with other organizations and the community such as Washington College and the Board of Education.

Field Instruction Volunteers serve as educational assistants to staff. They are people with advanced skills and experience in the education and environmental fields that can enhance the education students receive.

Garden Volunteers serve in our agro-ecology garden to help the food instability in Kent County by growing, harvesting, and delivering produce. The volunteers provide the labor needed to continually expand our garden and continue its use for educational purposes.

General Volunteers serve at least once a year and participate in events to bring the community and nature together such as beach clean-ups or canoe rides. Besides assisting the community, these events are used to recruit new volunteers.

You can get involved and support the work of SEEC by becoming a volunteer. Simply follow the link below to get started.

Location, Hours, and Schedule

SEEC’s office is located on the third floor of Knock’s Folly. We are typically open from 8-4, Monday thru Friday. State and county park trails are open to the public year round.

Want to Visit with your Class or Group? The Sassafras Environmental Education Center is located at 13671 Turners Creek Road, Unit 2, Kennedyville, MD 21645. Call Wayne, Kelly-Anne, or Aaron at (410) 348-5214 for more info or to book your group’s visit.

SEEC has been a Godsend. Not only am I a mom but also a farm mom juggling parenting, virtual school, as well as our cow/calf operation. Having 3 of the 4 kids attend SEEC gave me the opportunity to keep up with farm work as well as give them the opportunity to have interaction with other children. Everything has been shut down for 2020: schools, 4-H (with the exception of a few in-person shows), no community events to support. So, our on-the-go, volunteering, social lives came to a stand still. SEEC has allowed us to continue to be a part of a community organization which I am very thankful for.Jaime, Mother

Agro-ecology students exploring forest trails on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

All of SEEC’s programming is delivered to the Eastern Shore community at no cost. We are able to operate through donations, grants, and volunteer contributions. Your support will make a difference.

Want More Information?

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy's mission is to improve quality of life on Maryland's Eastern Shore through conservation, and environmental education is a major part of that. If you'd like more information about our environmental education programs, contact us and we'll be happy to help.