Information Session on Maryland’s Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program

The agricultural industry is known for having significant barriers to entry, namely the high cost of farmland and other capital needs, but a newly funded program is available to help bring about the next generation of farmers.

On Thursday, May 3rd, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) will be hosting a regional information session on the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program. This exciting state-supported program – funded for the 2nd year in a row – is designed to help qualified young and beginning farmers secure long-term access to farmland, while also effectively preserving the agricultural land from future development.

This free event is open to the public and will be held at the Talbot Free Library from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm on May 3rd. The information session will include an overview of the new “Next Gen Program”, as well as information on how ESLC and MARBIDCO could help folks secure farmland or obtain additional financial resources to help build their agricultural businesses.

“This program really is on the cutting edge – it helps to both permanently preserve important natural resources, while also assisting qualified individuals with making their way into an industry with relatively high barriers to entry,” said ESLC Policy Manager, Josh Hastings.

The Next Gen Program, administered by MARBIDCO, has an application submission deadline of July 31, 2018 and application forms should be available by May 1st. Come hear how area organizations and agricultural lenders can help the next generation make their dream of farming into a reality. For questions, please contact Josh Hastings at jhastings@eslc.org or 410-251-5268.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. More at www.eslc.org.

Culture, Climate, and Change: How Social Factors Shape the Climate Dialogue

The Eastern Shore remains the third most susceptible region to the effects of sea level rise in the entire nation. With this in mind, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is following up their sold-out 2017 Unsinkable Shore conference with Culture, Climate, and Change: How social factors shape the climate dialogue, which will be held at Washington College on April 21, 2018 from 9am to 1pm. The event is sponsored in part by the College’s Center for Environment & Society.

“This conference promises to have participants walking away with the knowledge to speak effectively, accurately, and confidently about climate change,” says ESLC Communications Manager David Ferraris.

Attendees should anticipate an in-depth exploration of the social factors that influence opinions, beliefs, and perceptions of climate change on the Shore. Participants will gain an appreciation for how our region’s rich cultural landscape shapes the dialogue – or lack thereof – about how we respond to climate risks.

The $20 admission fee includes a continental breakfast, and for the first 70 registrants, a complimentary copy of “How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate” by Andrew Hoffman, a professor of business and sustainability at the University of Michigan. Registration is available online at www.eslc.org/events.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. More at www.eslc.org.

ESLC Offers New Culture, Climate, and Change Conference April 21

 

The Eastern Shore remains the third most susceptible region to the effects of sea level rise in the entire nation. With this in mind, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is following up their sold-out 2017 Unsinkable Shore conference with Culture, Climate, and Change: How social factors shape the climate dialogue, which will be held at Washington College on April 21, 2018 from 9am to 1pm. The event is sponsored in part by the College’s Center for Environment & Society.

”This conference promises to have participants walking away with the knowledge to speak effectively, accurately, and
confidently about climate change,” says ESLC Communications Manager David Ferraris.

Attendees should anticipate an in-depth exploration of the social factors that influence opinions, beliefs, and perceptions of climate change on the Shore. Participants will gain an appreciation for how our region’s rich cultural landscape shapes the dialogue – or lack thereof— about how we respond to climate risks.

The $20 admission fee includes a continental breakfast, and for the first 70 registrants, a complimentary copy of “How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate” by Andrew Hoffman, a professor of business and sustainability at the University of Michigan.

Registration is available online at www.eslc.org/events.

 

Cambridge Residents Invited to Kick-Off Event for Cannery Park

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (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 public and private clients across the U.S. The firm has a strong record of working in close collaboration with public planners, citizens, architects, and artists during its projects, which has led to landscape design that is imaginative, sensitive to the community, and authentic to place – all reasons that the firm was selected from the many who submitted proposals. The firm is also known to be deeply informed by principles of sustainability, believing that good design and ecological effectiveness are not mutually exclusive.

For more information about the media event on January 23rd, please contact ESLC’s Communication Manager David Ferraris at dferraris@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x165. For questions regarding the community design charrettes, please contact ESLC’s Community Projects Manager Elizabeth Carter at ecarter@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x152.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. More at www.eslc.org.

Shore United Bank contributes $10,000 for ESLC project in Cambridge

Shore United BankShore United Bank, a member of Shore Bancshares community of companies headquartered in Easton, Maryland recently contributed $10,000 towards the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s (ESLC) Phillips Packing Plant revitalization project in Cambridge. The check was presented by Shore United Bank’s President and CEO, Pat Bilbrough, to ESLC’s Executive Director Rob Etgen and Center for Towns Director Katie Parks (pictured).

A joint venture between ESLC and Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners, the project aims to repurpose the last remaining structure (referred to as ‘Plant F’) of the famed Phillips Packing Company empire into a hub for creative food production, retail and small business, and entrepreneurial initiatives that build off of the Eastern Shore’s agricultural resources and growing local food economy. The 60,000 square-foot building has been renamed The Packing House.

For decades, the Phillips empire employed thousands in Cambridge while also purchasing millions of dollars in product from Delmarva farmers annually. The building, while neglected and vacant since the 1960’s, features an open floor plan, soaring ceilings, and the opportunity to retain many historic architectural features that will impart the space with an authentic, Eastern Shore manufacturing aesthetic.

“Things are looking up for your project,” said Bilbrough. “We believe it is a great thing for your organization and the local community. Land conservancy does not need to be mutually exclusive to placing conservation easements or economic development, and this project proves that in a way very similar to the McCord/Conservation Center project.”

The Cannery reuse plan is building around a food and farming exchange, which includes a microbrewery, kitchen incubator and market, shared use office innovation hub, oyster bar, and event space.

For information about The Packing House project and/or ESLC, please contact ESLC Center for Towns Director Katie Parks at kparks@eslc.org 410.690.4603, ext. 155. More information can also be found at thePackingHouseCambridge.com.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them. ESLC helps save land and promote sound land use planning from the C&D Canal in Cecil County all the way to the Nanticoke River in Dorchester County. More at www.eslc.org.

Reimagining Chesterfield (Carter Farm) Community Meeting

ESLC_Chesterfield_ULI community meeting flyerEastern Shore Land Conservancy invites Centreville residents to share their dreams for a vibrant Centreville. Residents will want to attend next Tuesday’s community meeting at the Wye River Upper School from 6-8pm as we ‘Reimagine Chesterfield (Carter Farm)’. We’ve enlisted speaker Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute – nationally known as a thought-provoking & leading authority on topics such as the links between health and the built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation. This is an interactive workshop and community input is wanted. Mr. McMahon has traveled the country/world and will share inspirational examples of effective town development strategies.

 

Tuesday, June 14

6 to 8 PM

Wye River Upper School (316 S. Commerce St., Centreville, MD)

Questions: contact Rachel Roman at 410.690.4603 x 156 or rroman@eslc.org

*Special Guest Speaker: Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute

 

 

Easement Settled on Important Ecological and Historical Property

BUCKTOWN – A piece of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway has been preserved with a conservation easement held by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Maryland Department of Natural Resources, permanently protecting the historic and ecological features of the property.

The Goodluck Farm is owned by Millie Lake, Benito Lake, Ellen Bronte Lake, and Ed James. Millie is the granddaughter of Martin Lake, who was born as a slave on The Brodess Plantation before the Civil War, according to a family history written by James.lake2

On his fourth try, Martin Lake escaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad (before Tubman was a conductor). Tubman once was enslaved on this property, and according to family history, Martin Lake met her.

He joined the Union Army and after the war returned to Dorchester County. He worked for the Brodess family on the lands where he formerly was a slave, and the family gave him about three acres of farmland.

Martin Lake’s son, Monroe Lake Sr., inherited one acre of the land and traded it to a family member, Millie Lake Clash. Monroe Lake Sr. also purchased other portions of the Brodess Plantation as they became available.

“We are honored to work with the Lake family on protecting this important piece of the Eastern Shore,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “The stories that have occurred on and around this farm are critical to understanding where we have come from – and more importantly where we are going as a community. The conservation easement will protect and enrich these stories for future generations.”

The Lake family, descendants of a slave on the farm, now own a large portion of the former plantation and maintain the Brodess family cemetery that still exists there.

The Good Luck Farm is preserved under Program Open Space Coastal Resilience Easements, designed to protect areas that could be prone to high waters and storm surges. The easement protects areas that allow wetlands to migrate. This was the first such easement approved by the Maryland State Board of Public Works.

Of the 221 acres, about 125 acres are farmland, and the rest is forest, wetland, and forested wetland, providing habitat for forest interior dwelling species and for the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel.

www.eslc.org

 

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ESLC and MET Settle Easement on Important Historical Property

 A piece of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway has been preserved with a conservation easement, forever protecting a property owned by the descendants of a man once enslaved on the former plantation.

A piece of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway has been preserved with a conservation easement, forever protecting a property owned by the descendants of a man once enslaved on the former plantation.

BUCKTOWN – A piece of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway has been preserved with a conservation easement held by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Maryland Department of Natural Resources, permanently protecting the historic and ecological features of the property.

The Board of Public works approved a Program Open Space Coastal Resilience Easement on The Good Luck Farm, owned by descendants of a man once enslaved on the property. The easement, settled in December, permanently protects the property’s important ecological and historic features. Pictured are Jared Parks, ESLC Land Protection Specialist; Kim Tarver, attorney; Ellen Bronte Lake, property owner; Barbara Lake; and Benito Lake, property owner.

The Board of Public works approved a Program Open Space Coastal Resilience Easement on The Good Luck Farm, owned by descendants of a man once enslaved on the property. The easement, settled in December, permanently protects the property’s important ecological and historic features. Pictured are Jared Parks, ESLC Land Protection Specialist; Kim Tarver, attorney; Ellen Bronte Lake, property owner; Barbara Lake; and Benito Lake, property owner.

The Goodluck Farm is owned by Millie Lake, Benito Lake, Ellen Bronte Lake, and Ed James. Millie is the granddaughter of Martin Lake, who was born as a slave on The Brodess Plantation before the Civil War, according to a family history written by James.

On his fourth try, Martin Lake escaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad (before Tubman was a conductor). Tubman once was enslaved on this property, and according to family history, Martin Lake met her.

He joined the Union Army and after the war returned to Dorchester County. He worked for the Brodess family on the lands where he formerly was a slave, and the family gave him about three acres of farmland.

Martin Lake’s son, Monroe Lake Sr., inherited one acre of the land and traded it to a family member, Millie Lake Clash. Monroe Lake Sr. also purchased other portions of the Brodess Plantation as they became available.

“We are honored to work with the Lake family on protecting this important piece of the Eastern Shore,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “The stories that have occurred on and around this farm are critical to understanding where we have come from – and more importantly where we are going as a community.  The conservation easement will protect and enrich these stories for future generations.”

The Lake family, descendants of a slave on the farm, now own a large portion of the former plantation and maintain the Brodess family cemetery that still exists there.

The Good Luck Farm is preserved under Program Open Space Coastal Resilience Easements, designed to protect areas that could be prone to high waters and storm surges. The easement protects areas that allow wetlands to migrate. This was the first such easement approved by the Maryland State Board of Public Works.

Of the 221 acres, about 125 acres are farmland, and the rest is forest, wetland, and forested wetland, providing habitat for forest interior dwelling species and for the endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel.

 

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Park Donated in Honor of Man Who Rescued Stevensville Landmarks

STEVENSVILLE – The man who helped preserve many Stevensville landmarks will be remembered with a park in his name on property his son donated to Queen Anne’s County.

Roger W. Eisinger started buying as much property as he could in Stevensville in the 1980s, rebuilding an antique store and developing an arts district. His son, Bob Eisinger, still owned 5.27 acres of a farm Roger Eisinger purchased in the 1980s and wanted to preserve the parcel in his father’s name.

Queen Anne’s County agreed to take ownership of the donated parcel and placed a conservation easement on it with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

The park would be open to the public and could possibly be the landing site for a pedestrian bridge over U.S. Route 50, connecting the two sides of The Cross Island Trail. Queen Anne’s County officials have struggled for years to figure out how to get people safely across Route 50, said County Administrator Gregg Todd.

Todd contacted Dick McIntyre, who designed the Cross Island Trail. McIntyre agreed to sketch a design for a possible pedestrian bridge. The county plans to pursue funding for implementation.

“The county is very grateful to the Eisinger family for dedicating this property to us which will be dedicated as the Roger W. Eisinger Jr. Park,” said Commissioner Dave Dunmyer. “We are also very excited about the park’s potential to serve as a gateway to a pedestrian walkway over Route 50 and as an environmental educational site through our partnership with the Midshore Riverkeepers.”

When ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen saw the parcel, he thought it would make a great park and began talking to community members and interested parties about it being a pedestrian bridge landing site.

In the mid-1990s, he said, the Stevensville Community Plan team identified the property as a good spot for a park because of the way the headwaters from Thompson Creek came into town, but no progress was made at that time.

“I am delighted by the generosity of the Eisinger family and by the partnership that has emerged around this new park and connecting trail,” Etgen said. “We look forward to working with Queen Anne’s County and the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy to make the Roger W. Eisinger Park and connecting trail a treasure for everyone.”

The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy will offer kiosks for public messaging and will explore other options, including native plantings.

“Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is delighted that we were able to play a role in steering Bob Eisinger to Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and helping to interest Queen Anne’s County in the potential for accepting this property,” said Midshore Riverkeeper Executive Director Tim Junkin. “We are confident that the park and pedestrian overpass will be a wonderful asset for folks on Kent Island and around the area.”

Unsinkable Eastern Shore Draws 200 to Downtown Easton

EASTON – The 14th Eastern Shore Planning Conference, Unsinkable Shore: Regional Resilience and Prosperity, October 4th drew about 200 people to the Tidewater Inn in Easton.

ESLC Deputy Director Amy Owsley said she was impressed and encouraged by the energy and interest around climate change action for the region. A morning conference poll showed that participants overwhelming view climate change as a priority issue for local and regional action.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy thanks its speakers, sponsors, presenters, volunteers and attendees for making this one of the most successful planning conferences to date.

Yesterday, Eastern Shore leaders came together to start a regional conversation about preparing agriculture, infrastructure and towns for projected climate changes.

“The Eastern Shore has demonstrated again and again its ability to evolve without changing the core of who we are as a region,” Owsley said. “While our lands may be taking on water, the Eastern Shore character and spirit is undeniably unsinkable. Together, we can find ways to build resilience and find opportunities in the changes we face.”

Since 1990, ESLC has helped to preserve  nearly 54,000 acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Additionally, we support strong land use policies that protect our farms and rural landscapes. More recently, we have worked in partnership with Shore towns to help create open spaces and trails, to help use green designs to manage stormwater, and to use community design to help revitalize downtowns.

ESLC recognizes that climate change can be a controversial topic. While we believe scientific data supports that the climate is changing, on this and all the tough issues facing the region, ESLC welcomes and respects all perspectives.

Speaker presentations, a conference summary, and information on upcoming opportunities to continue the discussion on climate change resilience on Maryland’s Eastern Shore soon will be available on our website, eslc.org.