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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O’Malley Commits $1 Million to Eastern Shore Conservation Center

Governor Martin O’Malley released his FY 2014 Capital Budget, which includes a $1 million commitment to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center.
The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy hopes to renovate the old McCord laundry building to provide office space for several nonprofit organizations. The redevelopment project is consistent with ESLC’s efforts to assist in the redevelopment of towns on the Eastern Shore. It would restore a deteriorated building and provide upwards of 50 jobs to downtown Easton.
The condition of the building has had a negative effect on the surrounding area in Easton’s South Washington Street Corridor. Vacant buildings can promote crime, increase property damage, and discourage additional investment in the neighborhood. Redevelopment is needed in that area to counteract the impact of the relocation of Memorial Hospital at Easton and to spur revitalization of the neighborhood.
“Governor O’Malley’s funding of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center is a testament to his understanding of the project’s importance to Smart Growth, revitalization and the strengthening of our towns,” said former Gov. Harry Hughes.
McCord_ESLC__005Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is raising funds for the center, a charismatic green building that, if completed, would bring new vitality to both the neighborhood and the town. The Eastern Shore Conservation Center would create a working home for conservation organizations and businesses – including Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. This hub of activity will spark collaboration and innovation around conservation at a new scale for the Eastern Shore.
“We are grateful to Gov. O’Malley for his commitment to the Eastern Shore,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “This project will serve as a model of downtown revitalization and economic development on the Eastern Shore, and I’m pleased that the governor believes in this vision for conservation and for rural Maryland.”
Formal settlement on the McCord building in Easton, where ESLC hopes to create the Conservation Center, is scheduled for April, by which time ESLC must have raised about $5.5 million for the purchase and renovation of the McCord building.
The renovation is an important component of Easton’s broader strategy for redevelopment that includes a series of pedestrian, bicycle, and street-scaping improvements that run from the Eastern Shore Conservation Center to Easton Point. The Town of Easton already has secured Rails to Trails funding to extend a new bike trail from Easton Point to near the project site.
ESLC is committed to farm and habitat protection in our rural areas, and revitalization in our towns and communities. As the organization commits to this project, it will look to state and local governments and our communities to help raise the funds needed to develop the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in the long-vacant building.

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