Land Conservancy’s Planning Conference to Focus on Regional Transportation Issues

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a key artery that moves people and goods throughout the state, keeping Maryland’s heart pumping. Unfortunately, increased traffic has clogged that artery and continues to hurt Marylanders from the perspectives of business, quality of life, and more. From beach travelers to daily commuters, all would benefit from a suite of solutions reducing traffic congestion as soon as possible. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) believes that now is the time to have that conversation.

Held on Thursday, April 18th from 9am to 4pm and (fittingly) hosted at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club with the bridge as a backdrop, ESLC’s 19th Annual Planning Conference – Congestion Ahead: Rerouting… – will stimulate conversation around ways to reduce traffic congestion today. Through interactive panel discussions and keynote speakers, guests will leave with a better understanding of this regional issue and the possible solutions for traffic congestion.

Tickets for the affair are $55 ($25 students) and are available for purchase at www.eslc.org. Attendees will be treated to a delicious, locally sourced buffet, as well as a mindfulness session entitled “Meditation for Road Rage Relief”, courtesy of Easton’s Ebbtide Wellness.

“We encourage planners, commuters, and any resident concerned about this pressing issue to not sit on the sidelines while decisions regarding the future of transportation affecting the Chesapeake Bay region are being decided,” says ESLC’s Director of Communications David Ferraris. “This is your opportunity to learn more about all of the traffic mitigation concepts on the table – from high-speed toll lanes and potential mass transit options to creating tech-friendly workspaces where commuters can work remotely – there are solutions that can be incorporated now and we intend to focus on them.”

Speakers and panelists include regional decision makers from organizations such as Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Transit Administration, American Farmland Trust, engineering/infrastructure firm AECOM, and others.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Releases Comprehensive Sea Level Rise Study

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has released a new report to assist local governments plan for the impacts of sea level rise. Titled “Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” the report is centered on sea level rise projections for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in the years 2050 and 2100.

The report is available to view and download at www.eslc.org/resilience.

The sea level rise report was written on behalf of the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership (ESCAP) – a regional workgroup of local government staff, partners from the State of Maryland, academic institutions, and nonprofits. The ESCAP assists communities in reducing climate vulnerabilities and risks; collects and shares information among communities and decision makers; and educates members, residents, and elected leaders on risks and adaptation strategies. It also serves to raise the visibility and voice of the Eastern Shore and rural regions in conversations about adaptation and resilience.

“This report is important for communities here on the Eastern Shore,” said Jim Bass, ESLC’s Coastal Resilience Specialist. “It describes hazards we need to adapt to, and it gives us a framework to plan for that adaptation.”

Mapping for the project was conducted by the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) at Salisbury University. ESRGC developed maps to illustrate sea level rise and the impacts of flooding on Eastern Shore communities, including the estimated number of buildings flooded and the economic impact of flood damage.

The University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center used this information, along with best practices from communities nationwide, to develop recommendations for local governments to consider in their capital improvement planning. The goal of these recommendations is to keep tax-funded projects protected in the face of sea level rise.

Additionally, the Georgetown Climate Center used data from ESRGC, best practices, and stakeholder input to develop policy recommendations and model language for local governments to reference when rewriting codes and ordinances related to planned construction in floodplains and vulnerable coastal communities.

For more information regarding this study, ESCAP, or ESLC’s coastal resilience program, please contact ESLC Coastal Resilience Specialist Jim Bass at jbass@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x156.

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 Awarded Preservation Grant for Smokestack Repair at Phillips Packing House

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 provided over $15 million since 2003. These matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.

For more information about The Packing House, please visit www.thepackinghousecambridge.com.

Preservation Group Announces Phillips Packing House a New Preservation Project

As a part of Preservation Maryland’s strategic efforts to save threatened historic places, the organization recently announced its fourth class of Six-to-Fix projects from around the state. The Phillips Packing House revitalization project, spearheaded by Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Baltimore’s Cross Street Partners, is among them.

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is tackling an ambitious project to rehabilitate and reuse the historic Phillips Packing Plant. Preservation Maryland will support the effort by identifying funding to support the critical repair of the iconic smokestacks and increasing public awareness of this important preservation project on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Preservation Maryland will host a fundraiser known as Phoenix Rising in support of these projects and the organization’s work across the state on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, also the location of an on-going preservation partnership with the Museum to save the WWII crane on their property.

The Six-to-Fix program, which continues to evolve and expand since its launch in 2015, now represents a diverse portfolio of projects from around the state where Preservation Maryland has assisted in supporting efforts to preserve threatened historic resources. From cultural landscapes on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to a WWII-era crane in Baltimore’s harbor, the program has succeeded in advancing preservation at dozens of sites around the state.

Previous year’s projects are also quickly becoming a repository of best practices and case studies for community preservation – providing local preservation groups around the state with opportunities to learn from their peers. A complete list of all 24 previous and current projects is maintained at sixtofix.org.

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.

Save the Date: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s Party to Preserve Set for October 27

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has announced that its annual gala, Party to Preserve, will be held on Saturday, October 27th from 4pm to 7pm at Chateau Bu-De Vineyard & Winery, Bohemia Manor Farm. Located on the Bohemia River in Chesapeake City, the 440-acre farm is truly one of the most beautiful spots in Cecil County with simultaneous water and vineyard views. Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.eslc.org or by calling ESLC directly at 410.690.4603, ext. 0.

Chateau Bu-De Vineyard & Winery, Bohemia Manor Farm.

Keeping with tradition, the event will be held on an Eastern Shore property in one of six counties (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot) that has also been (at least partially) preserved under a conservation easement. Of interest to history buffs, the farm is also the historic property of Bohemian explorer, merchant, and cartographer Augustine Herrman, who hundreds of years ago produced a map of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay in exchange for permission to establish the plantation. The remains of his original structure still stands in close proximity to the winery.

ESLC will also be celebrating and educating attendees about its newest initiative during the event. A Delmarva Oasis is the Conservancy’s most comprehensive initiative in its 28-year existence with a goal of protecting 50% of the Delmarva Peninsula by 2030. The proposal, which seeks to include the support and partnership of multiple conservation-based organizations and the local governments of three states, is a beginning of a discussion about the end game for conservation.

Party to Preserve ticket sales are already underway and selling steadily. Guests will enjoy sunset views over the Bohemia River and groove to the “straight-ahead, uncompromising cocktail music” of the Van Williamson Trio. Of course, the wine will be plentiful as will the delicious, locally sourced cuisine. ESLC will have shuttle service available for guests with pickup and drop-off in Easton and Chestertown.

Event sponsorships opportunities are still available. Please contact ESLC’s Manager of Outreach & Engagement, Julia Babbitt Williams, at jbabbitt@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x171.

Upper Eastern Shore Location to Provide Environmental and Recreation Benefits

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 1,172 acres in Queen Anne’s County for the development of a new Wildlife Management Area that will provide conservation, habitat and recreation benefits, including birding, hiking, hunting and trapping.

The department worked in cooperation with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) on the acquisition. The new area will be managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service.

The acquisition near Church Hill will permanently protect agricultural fields, mature forested uplands, and stream corridors that currently provide excellent water quality protection. The property functions as a headwater catch basin that drains into Brown’s Branch, a tributary of Southeast Creek on the Chester River.

“This acquisition is an exciting win for both conservation advocates as well as outdoor enthusiasts,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This large and incredibly beautiful property on the Upper Eastern Shore will protect ecologically-sensitive habitat while providing the public an excellent location for outdoor recreation, especially hunting or trapping.”

The Program Open Space acquisition will protect the uncommonly high diversity of fauna and flora found in the upland areas of the property, which provide essential habitat for migratory songbirds, pollinators and small mammals.

“This farm has been one of our highest priorities for conservation for more than two decades,“ ESLC President Rob Etgen said. “It includes a huge area of prime farmland, and the streams are the largest remaining chunk of unprotected habitat for several endangered wildlife species. I am incredibly excited about this farm and grateful to the Hogan Administration for their support and stewardship.”

For more information, please contact ESLC’s Director of Communications, David Ferraris, at dferraris@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x165.

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.

Neighborhood Sun to Host Free Event at Eastern Shore Conservation Center

Affordable, clean, renewable energy is now available on the Eastern Shore. One way to go solar is via Neighborhood Sun. The Silver Spring, MD based company will be holding an informational meeting at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center on Thursday, July 26th from 5pm to 6pm. Food and drinks will be served as residents can learn about how community solar provides all the benefits of locally produced, affordable clean energy without any equipment to install or upfront fees.

Registration for this free event is located online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-solar-launch-party-eastern-shore-tickets-48181938475.

Local, environmental organizations such as Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) are partnering with Neighborhood Sun to provide residents with a means to go solar without installing anything on their roof or paying upfront fees. As a benefit to ESLC and other nonprofit partners, the groups will receive a $100 donation from Neighborhood Sun for each new customer that signs up through their specific URL link.

To sign up through ESLC’s link, please visit: https://neighborhoodsun.solar/eslc/

Note: Participation is currently limited to customers of Pepco Maryland, Potomac Edison First Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric, and Delmarva Power & Light.

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.

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Celebrates Spring with family-friendly LANDJAM Event

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) proudly invites residents of all ages to its inaugural LANDJAM event – a family-friendly gathering held on the gorgeous and permanently-preserved Leigh Family Farm in Kent County.

LANDJAM will take place on Saturday, May 19th from 1pm to 5pm (rain date: Sunday, May 20th) and will include live bluegrass music from local bands, environmentally-related educational activities and demonstrations, and an assortment of local foods, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for sale.

“This is an opportunity for people to celebrate spring and get outdoors with family and friends and to spend some time on a privately-owned farm that they normally wouldn’t have access to,” says ESLC Communications Manager David Ferraris. “The Leigh Family is extremely generous to open their property to us. We sincerely hope that families will join us on this pristine land for an afternoon full of great music, food, and fun.”

Activities for both children and adults include guided nature walks, farm tours on tractor-pulled people movers, and birding demonstrations. Food and beverages will be provided by Dogfish Head Brewery, Sprout, Barbeque & Beyond, Lockbriar & Daughter Ice Cream, and Crow Vineyard & Winery.

Leigh Family Farm is located in Betterton, MD. The entire family may attend the event for $25 (or $10 for an individual).

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.eslc.org/events.

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.

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