Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


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

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ESLC, DNR Celebrate Grand Opening of Sassafras Environmental Education Center

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and former U.S. Congressman, Wayne Gilchrest today celebrated the grand opening of the Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC). SEEC, an environmental education and agro-ecology program at Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area in Kent County, is the result of a unique partnership between DNR and ESLC. This partnership connects Maryland’s children with nature and explores potential models for innovative agricultural activities supporting both local food supply and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.  The project will involve a range of activities for children.

“SEEC will give these kids a deep frame of reference for the ecology and their place in the ecology,” said Wayne Gilchrest, Program Director for SEEC. “When you have an understanding of your own niche and how it can be compatible with nature’s design, you can see the greater impact and be a better steward of our planet.”

“I want to thank Congressman Gilchrest for his vision and enthusiasm; he was the driving force behind the Sassafras Environmental Education Center,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The SEEC is a prime example of unique partners, both private and public, coming together for the benefit of Maryland children. Through outdoor education, our children learn to appreciate our natural world and become the next generation of stewards.”

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a regional conservation organization dedicated to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore.  SEEC programs are one way ESLC is able to increase access to land and engage youth and their families in these activities. ESLC will collaborate with the SEEC through complimenting educational efforts and will work to ensure children on the Shore find ways to explore their rural heritage.

“Working with youth and providing more opportunities for people from all walks of life to learn about and engage in conservation is such an important part of Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s mission. We are thrilled that the Sassafras Environmental Education Center is part of that,” said ESLC’s Executive Director Rob Etgen.

“We are so excited to open our activities up at such a broad level and remain grateful to Congressman Gilchrest and the Department of Natural Resources for this amazing partnership opportunity.”


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