A Unique Approach to Land Preservation in Southern Maryland
Leonardtown, Maryland – In a unique partnership between conservation organizations and state and federal government, 67 acres of pristine Calvert County watershed have been preserved for future generations to enjoy.
The July 18 transaction spearheaded by the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust and Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust involved the purchase of an easement to land along upper reaches of Hellen Creek near Lusby from The Nature Conservancy, which in turn donated the land to CPNHT. Monies for the easement came from the U.S. Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program (REPI). The easement will be jointly owned by the Maryland Environmental Trust and PTLT, which will be responsible for protecting terms of the easement in perpetuity. CPNHT, which has managed the land since 2006, will be responsible going forward for its care, including public access. Together with the Hellen Creek Preserve on the southern shore and the newly acquired Turner Road property on the northern there are more than 280 acres of protected property on Hellen Creek.
For more than 10 years, CPNHT, The Nature Conservancy, Calvert County, and the state of Maryland worked on the land transfer, which nearly died with a change in Maryland governors. PTLT entered the discussion by offering to leverage its relations with the Navy, which helps fund preservation of land beneath critical flight paths.
Hemlock Preserve’s 67 acres of natural features include upland woods, ravines, bluffs and marsh along Hellen Creek. It’s home to 50 species of birds, most notably Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, and several species of flycatchers and warblers. The preserve has the southernmost stand of Canadian hemlock on the eastern coastal plain. The stand is thought to be a relict community left behind by the last glaciers 15,000 years ago. Visitors also enjoy its plant life which includes trailing arbutus, winterberry, and mountain laurel in the interior, with marsh hibiscus, cardinal flower, and buttonbush down by the creek.
For more information on Hellen Creek Hemlock Preserve, visit the Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust website, http://www.covepoint-trust.org.
Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust’s mission is to sustain the region’s biodiversity and water resources through a network of protected landscapes. PTLT acquires land and conservation easements by purchase or donation. For more information, visit www.ptlt.org
Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust is a nonprofit Trust located in Calvert County. Founded in 1994, its mission is to preserve and protect ecologically sensitive sites in Southern Maryland through land conservation, acquisition, scientific research, and environmental education. For more information, visit www.covepoint-trust.org.
Frank Allen, President PTLT
Convenient online Cruise payment HERE
is coming August 16th!
Space is limited to 20 passengers. It sells out every year, so gather your friends and join us for a chartered cruise, shop/walk about the town of Cambridge (Eastern Shore) this year, and seafood lunch on your own. If time permits, a stop in Oxford on the way home for great ice cream! $100/person includes, snacks and drinks onboard, boat fare, tip to the captain, map of Cambridge, and a donation to PTLT. We will be leaving from Solomon's Island.
One of most popular volunteer activities!
A training session for prospective volunteers will be held at Summerseat Farmat 26655 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville MD 20659 on Saturday October 12, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “PTLT training” in the subject line and advise the number of attendees. More information on the organization may be found at www.ptlt.org.
Leonardtown, Maryland– The Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust is proposing to expand the Huntersville Rural Legacy Area creating the St. Mary’s Greenway of protected forests, farmland, and headwater streams connecting the Patuxent and Potomac River watersheds as they lead to the Chesapeake Bay.
This winter PTLA received a prestigious Janice Hollmann grant to further its land conservation efforts.
The $2,000 grant awarded by the Maryland Environmental Trust will be used to help PTLT underwrite its administrative and outreach needs for our outreach work to property owners.
Hollmann Grants are awarded to land trusts within Maryland. All grants require a 100 percent match from the land trust of in-kind services and privately raised funds and are subject to a competitive application process.
“We’re delighted to receive this grant for a number of reasons,” says PTLT President Frank Allen. “Besides helping further our mission, earning a Hollmann Grant demonstrates to the wider world of conservation the depth and breadth of our organization’s growth and accomplishments since its founding 23 years ago.”