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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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ESLC awarded Preservation Grant for smokestack repair at Phillips Packing House

CAMBRIDGE, MD – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from The Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund. These grant funds will be used to help stabilize and repair the building’s iconic smokestacks. Cross Street Partners, in partnership with Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) will repurpose the 60,000 SF historic Phillips Packing House Building F as The Packing House - an active, mixed-use development designed to support the emerging industries related to the Eastern Shore’s famed farming and fisheries. The Packing House will house a synergistic mix of tech and creative entrepreneurs, food production and food related retail/eateries as well as a 2-story, light-filled open atrium space for continuous public programs and private events. The Packing House will serve as a connection between the growing downtown revitalization in Cambridge and the well-traveled Route 50—Ocean Gateway to Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia beaches. The commercialization, research, production, and active retail uses will support local employment and inform nutrition and public health programming on the Eastern Shore. Redeveloping this historically significant building as an entrepreneurial engine for the Cambridge community in a manner that celebrates Cambridge’s unique heritage preserves the legacy of the Phillips Packing Company. It is the last remaining factory from the Phillips Company’s empire of vegetable and food packing businesses, which once employed thousands of people in Cambridge. The company closed in the 1960’s, and the building has been deteriorating for decades. "Organizations like ESLC help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "We are honored to provide a grant to ESLC, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage." Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds have

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Did you know? ESLC headquarters is LEED certified

Here at ESLC, we believe in the old adage, 'If you talk it, you walk it'. With this in mind, ensuring that the future Eastern Shore Conservation Center (or ESCC) -- reimagined from the abandoned and downtrodden McCord Laundry building in downtown Easton -- would be a sustainable, LEED certified building, was never in question. After all, our Center for Towns Program has been actively promoting infill development and smart growth strategies in an effort to strengthen our rural towns for the better part of a decade. Our partnership with Baltimore's Cross Street Partners on The Packing House in Cambridge is a perfect example of these efforts. But what exactly does LEED mean? Simply put, LEED is green building. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community, and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste, and support human health. LEED buildings also attract tenants, cost less to operate, and boost employee productivity and retention. If you haven't taken a stroll through the Center yet, please do! We welcome visitors during normal business hours (M-F, 8:30am to 4:30pm) to take in our campus. A true mixed-use facility, ESCC tenants include (environmentally-focused) nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, apartments, office rental space, and a cafe.  

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Listen to ESLC’s Jim Bass talk coastal resilience on WHCP

Jim Bass, coastal resilience specialist for ESLC, recently joined Director of Dorchester Country Dept. of Emergency Services Anna Sierra for an interview on Cambridge's WHCP to kick off National Preparedness Month (September). Jim spoke in detail as to how emergency preparedness and ESLC''s coastal resilience program are interconnected, and how the Eastern Shore is one of the nation's most susceptible areas to sea level rise in the country. Jim and Anna also touch on information about the "Know your Zone" program from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Thanks to WHCP ("A Great Place to Be!") for inviting Jim on the air. LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD

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Cambridge Residents Invited to Community Design Charrettes and Kick-Off Event for Cannery Park

ESLC and its project partners will host two community design charrettes, as well as a project kick-off event, to celebrate and gather community input for Cannery Park. The park, which will be located adjacent to the former Phillips Packing Co.’s last remaining building (soon to be known as The Packing House), is the culmination of a planning and funds-seeking process that has been in the works for approximately seven years. The media kick-off event will happen at 11am on Tuesday, January 23rd at 411 Dorchester Avenue. All residents, local businesses, and members of the media are encouraged to attend to find out more about the future park, and about Parker Rodriguez – the Alexandria, VA-based landscape architecture firm that has been selected to design and create Cannery Park. The two community design charrettes will be open to the public in an effort to capture feedback and input on the design of Cannery Park’s master plan, as well as to provide updates on Cambridge’s newest public space. The first charrette will be held from 6:30 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 23rd at the Cambridge Empowerment Center, located at 615 B Pine Street. The second charrette will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 25th at the Public Safety Building, located at 8 Washington Street. Along with ESLC staff, members from the City of Cambridge, Dorchester County, Cross Street Partners, and Parker Rodriguez will be in attendance during all of the week’s events. The restoration of Cambridge Creek, along with the removal of an inactive railroad line so as to create a rail trail connecting the park to downtown, will be among the first action items in the creation of the new park. Parker Rodriguez was founded in 1996 as a full service land planning, landscape architecture, and urban design firm serving

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Why Eastern Shore residents should care about saving the Historic Tax Credit

Caught up in the current effort to reform the federal tax code is a critical program that has completed nearly $25 million worth of rehabilitated historic buildings on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2002. The Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is a 20% credit on the cost of rehabilitating a historic building and is a powerful and efficient tool for revitalizing our nation’s small towns and cities. For every $1 invested by the federal government, the program attracts nearly $4 in private investment. Better yet, for every $1 in credits, the program returns $1.20 to the federal treasury – actually yielding a profit for the government. The results have been stunning and have changed the outlook for many communities. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore the program has a long history of revitalizing communities while also saving important historic buildings. Since 2002, in Easton alone the program has incentivized the rehabilitation of $10 million worth of buildings – from main street shops to former industrial buildings. A perfect example is the McCord Laundry facility, home to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center – a mixed-use campus of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and apartments. In Cambridge, the program is supporting the rebirth of Race Street, providing critical equity to make the rehabilitation of the Hearn Hardware Building a reality. The formerly vacant and crumbling building will now host market rate apartments and first floor retail space; yet another positive outcome thanks to the Historic Tax Credit. Elsewhere in Cambridge, the Historic Tax Credit is incentivizing an ambitious and potentially catalytic project that will convert the vacant Phillips Packing Co.’s Factory F into a hub of commerce, industry, and education. Without the Historic Tax Credit and the New Market Tax Credit program, which is also seriously threatened, tackling difficult projects like this in rural communities would not be possible. Repeal of

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Recent Posts

  • Eastern Shore Towns Respond to COVID-19
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Pat Langenfelder
  • Climate Study Predicts Extent of Heavier Rains on Eastern Shore
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Alexander Walls
  • LYON RUM Distillery announces final batch of ESLC Black Rum
  • The First Look at Severe Rainfall Impacts in Maryland
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Matt Tobriner
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Carol Bean
  • Chesapeake Bay Architects Discuss Design and Climate Adaptation
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen
  • Thriving – Not Simply Surviving – in the Delmarva Oasis
  • Saving the Stacks
  • Buy Local Challenge: Cookin’ with Carol
  • It Was a Beautiful Day for a LANDJAM!
  • Cannery Park Planting and Clean Up