On Thursday, November 1st at ESLC's Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC) in Kennedyville, MD, the Chesapeake Bay String of Pearls Project and ESLC celebrated four Kent County landowners for their contributions in preserving land forever. Hosted by Wayne Gilchrest, the ceremony included toasts, a small reception, refreshments, music (by CBF's Alan Girard & friend), and plein air paintings of the new “Pearls”. The goal of this project is to connect enough “Pearls” to form a series of “Strings” – natural corridors for wildlife and biodiversity of habitat to hold the landscape together. String of Pearls strives to create a balance between development and best use of our land…our precious natural resource. This crop of Pearls are all working Kent County farms, and proudly continue the String of Pearls network, connecting preservation around the Bay. More about each Pearl below: Fair Hill Farms – The Fry’s permanently preserved more than 550 acres of their dairy farm with two conservation easements, held by ESLC and partners MET. Provides views of open fields and rolling hills from Maryland’s Rt. 213 scenic byway. Owners: Matt & Megan Fry, Ed & Marian Fry. St. Brigid’s Farm – 62 conserved acres where roughly 200 animals graze on the farm’s permanent pasture, providing dairy and grass fed/finished beef to individuals & restaurants. Owners: Robert Fry & Judith Gifford. Oldfield Point Farms – another property located along Rt. 213, the Starkey Family permanently protected 678 acres of their Galena farm, which also contains 10k feet along the Sassafras River. This is what we call a Keystone Eastern Shore Property, meaning a large, intact farm visible from the road and includes waterfront property and wildlife habitats. Owners: William & Barbara Starkey, Brennan & Patricia Starkey, Christopher & Elizabeth Starkey. Three Lane Farm – 421 acres of Galena farmland permanently protected with easements held by ESLC & MET.