One of the beautiful benefits of saving land is that we all have the opportunity to enjoy it. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy holds three preserves, one of which is open all year. We also have helped to save properties where others offer public access. We welcome you to enjoy the natural beauty of our beloved Eastern Shore.
The property was donated to ESLC in 1999 by Mary Lynch in loving memory of her husband, Jim Lynch Sr. Mary Lynch grew up on a larger farm that included the modern property.
The property is on Robins Creek and the Choptank River, near Two Johns Landing. Mary Lynch grew up walking through the forest. Her husband developed some of the fields for the Two Johns subdivision, now famous for its Christmas lights. He preserved the forest because she liked to walk there. Later, she donated the land to ESLC, which put an easement on the property, which allows for an educational center, which has not been created.
The Bennett Point Farm is owned jointly by Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. The property was purchased in 1997 with funds from a North American Wetlands Conservation Act. In 1998, large scale habitat restoration projects were completed on the property. Management of the property is critical to ensuring that wildlife and water quality continue to benefit from these restorations.
The Bennett Point Farm consists of a diversity of habitat types including 140 acres of forest, 13 acres of grassland, 107 acres of shallow, freshwater, emergent wetland; and 24 acres of farmland used for wildlife food plots. This diversity is uncommon on lands today in Maryland. The wetlands provide habitat for a variety of amphibians, reptiles, insects, birds and mammals. Nesting coots, black ducks, and blue-wing teals have been recorded on the site. Winter waterfowl populations have been extraordinary, due to the good habitat and lack of human disturbance.
Twelve thousand years ago, Tilghman Island was a ridge several hundred feet above the Susquehanna River roaring with cascades of glacial melt. Humans were there, and whether settled or just passing by, left a few stone points and tools. When they were gone, the weather reverted to a millennia of cold, called by archaeologists the “Younger Dryas.” The area was covered by a thick layer of wind-blown dust, the ocean rose, and the immense canyon became the Chesapeake Bay. Erosion along the shores exposed the layers, including the one that contained evidence of early occupation by Clovis people.
Many years later, when Darrin Lowery was a young man, he began collecting items lying on the beach of his family’s property at PawPaw Cove. Upon seeing a television program about their ancient origin, he and his father took the “lithics” to a meeting with Dr. Dennis Stanford at the Smithsonian Insitution. Their land became the easternmost location for investigation of what were then thought to be the earliest occupants of North America.
Since then, evidence of even older humans has been discovered at many locations; some found by Lowery (now a geologist) along the shores of the Chesapeake. The book Across Atlantic Ice (2012) by Dr. Stanford and Dr. Bradley details Lowery’s finds and others that support their theory of seaborne hunters crossing to these shores from France before 22,000 BC.
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy has helped to protect many properties where the public is welcome, either for various events, to hike, to hunt or fish, or to participate in community supported agriculture.