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As you consider financial support for PTLT, browse this recap of all we accomplished in 2021. Making our local community a better place is our reason for being. We protect farms and forests from development. PTLT advises to regional and local planners in their efforts to protect our wild spaces, while improving our quality of life.
Our work protects wildlife around us before it is gone. Currently, PTLT board member David Moulton is leading a study to modify hay harvesting schedules to protect ground nesting birds like Eastern Meadowlarks while making sure farmers still can harvest their crops. Grassland bird numbers have dropped by 70% since 1970 - we need to bring them back.
Here in more detail are our most significant accomplishments in 2021.
We protected more land. By the end of this year, we will have completed the acquisition of four more conservation easements totaling 340 acres. We will have protected over 6000 acres! Funding for these came from the Maryland Rural Legacy program and from St. Mary’s County. For one easement, the owner generously donated half the value of the easement price.
Check donations can be mailed to:
P.O. Box 1955
Leonardtown, MD 20650
An effort to encourage “bird-friendly” hay management on Southern Maryland hay farms is now under way under the auspices “Saving Southern Maryland’s Grassland Birds”, a collaborative that includes the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) as well as the Farmers Feeding Southern Maryland, Historic Sotterley Inc.. Two hay farmers – Joe Goldsmith and BJ Bowling – are coordinating with PTLT board member David Moulton to test “bird-friendly” haying approaches on a 75 acre private hayfield just north of Historic Sotterley. “The Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust is proud to be part of this attempt to find solutions that protect threatened grassland bird species,” says PTLT president Frank Allen. The Eastern Meadowlark and the Grasshopper Sparrow are two species in steep decline which depend both on preserving our hayfields and on managing them with an eye towards nature. Nests can easily be destroyed when using conventional haying techniques, but changing mowing heights, patterns and timing can give these threatened birds a chance to breed successfully and the hay farmers a chance to hay successfully. For more information about this initiative, visit the website at “Bird-friendly-farming.org”.
Credit: Bill Hubick
Join PTLT and Friends SATURDAY Nov. 6, 2021, to help remove invasive vines and plants to help restore the woodland. We take the warmer months off to avoid biting insects like ticks. This is a "winter sport." Dogs and children welcome :)
Bring clippers, hand saw, clippers, or your favorite tool. Wear appropriate clothing including work gloves, hat, and protective eyewear. It's a great way to get some Vit. D and fresh air, socially outdoor distanced activity, and do something good for your community...
Questions? Call Frank at 301-862-3421
When; Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021
9:00 AM to 12:00
Myrtle Point Park, 24050 Patuxent Blvd., California, MD 20619
Bottled water and snacks provided
STARTING SOON! A favorite activity for volunteers of PTLT is to hike/monitor one of our many beautiful easement properties. Monitoring is only done once a year, in the winter months. You will be trained by an existing volunteer first time around. Then you can be assigned another property(s), as you wish. Take some photos, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and get a little exercise walking. For more information, or to sign up to be a volunteer monitor, contact, Robert Willey, PTLT Monitor Coordinator.
Rebecca Benton, St. Inigoes, MD, a long time supporter of Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, donated to Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust in memory of "Dabney" Lloyd Edgar Kisner, Jr., age 100 and a lifelong restaurateur, hunter, fisherman, centurion, and Uncle.
As a teenager, Dabney helped his father build Kisner's Store Building where the family lived upstairs and ran the general store downstairs. He graduated from Green Bank High School where he played football.
In 1942, he entered Army Boot Camp and in 1943 received his "Wings" from flight school in Texas. In 1943 he flew his first mission from Earls Colne, England as a bombardier/navigator. After this mission he also was a co-pilot in a 5-man crew. On December 13, 1943 Dabney was shot down over Europe but it made it back to White Cliffs where the crew parachuted out. He landed in a minefield but US soldiers carried him on a stretcher unconscious to the hospital. On Dec. 24 he was released and on Christmas Day 1943 he flew another mission and then 48 more. On May 25, 1944 his B-26 was shot down over Liege, Belgium. He was rescued by the Belgium Resistance and hidden in several locations over the next 5 months. He worked with the Belgium Resistance as he helped them identify the US airplanes or enemy planes at night by the sounds of the motors. He was often hidden behind a closet door or in an attic.
From PTLT Volunteer, Christina Allen:
This year, for my birthday blanket, I am knitting a cozy silk/wool Noro yarn blanket made up of colorful hexagons to benefit Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT). The blanket is warm but lightweight. Each 5" hexagon takes about one hour to create. Keep you or your loved ones warm and wrapped in love with this special blanket.
For every $10 donation to PTLT, I'll put one raffle ticket with your name on it in a bowl. Raffle drawing will be held on Dec. 4th, 10:00 AM, at Myrtle Point Park Invasive Plant Removal PTLT event. Not required to be present to win; Curbside pickup or shipping included if you win.
I'll post Facebook updates on the blanket and record the drawing of the blanket on Dec. 4th evening. Good luck!
PTLT’s mission is to acquire and hold conservation easements on ecologically valuable land for future generations to enjoy.
Facebook pays all the processing fees for you, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the nonprofit. Since PTLT is an all volunteer board, ALL monies go towards PTLT's mission to save land, in perpetuity.
Donations/tickets can be made on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CornCribStudio
PTLT co-holds an environmental easement on the Oak Hill property, now used for a truly inspirational purpose.
One of only a handful of African American falconers in the country, Rodney Stotts is on a mission to build a bird sanctuary and provide access to nature for his stressed community. This is a story of second chances: for injured birds of prey, for an abandoned plot of land, for a group of teenagers who have dropped out of high school, and for Rodney himself.
See full episode HERE.
Wonder what the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust is all about? Watch this video and learn the history and philosophy behind our organization.
Benefits of a Conservation Easement
(Excerpt from www.mylandplan.org, American Forest Foundation)
Every conservation easement is a unique legal agreement, written specifically to fit your needs and goals. You can set up a conservation easement to:
Whether you place all or only part of your property into a conservation easement, you can expect to benefit from the agreement in several ways.
Estate tax benefits. A conservation easement that removes your land’s development potential typically lowers its market value—and that means lower taxes for the landowner. That can significantly reduce estate taxes when you pass on your property to the next generation, making it easier to keep the land in the family and intact.
Property tax benefits. By lowering your land’s value, a conservation easement can also lower your property taxes.
State and federal tax benefits. If your conservation easement is permanent, was donated—not sold—to a land trust for conservation purposes, and meets certain other IRS conditions, it can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation that can reduce your state and federal income taxes. The easement is treated as a donation of the development rights to your land. That means the value of the donation (and the amount of the deduction you can claim) would be the difference between the property’s market value if its development were not restricted in any way, and its value with the easement’s restrictions in place.
Permanency and control. Most easements are permanent and crafted specifically to meet your goals. Their restrictions remain in force even when the land changes hands. With the right easement terms in place, you can have the peace of mind of knowing your land will be protected as you wish well beyond your lifetime.
Although conservation easements offer significant benefits, they are not for every landowner. There are some important points to keep in mind when you consider a conservation easement.
Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust holds conservation easement on properties in Southern Maryland where we purchase or accept donations of development rights on properties and impose other conservation-related restrictions on the land. We work closely with the landowner to make sure that easement terms are what the owner wishes – the conditions in the easement apply to all future landowners so this is the only way that landowners can be certain that the land will be kept the way that they want. It is very difficult to alter or terminate the easement, so this type of land protection is the best that exists. Other than restrictions that apply to the easement, the landowner still owns the property.
For more information, read more by our partner, Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) .
Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) saves land FOREVER. That is a long long time! This is one resolution we can keep with our New Year's Pledge to help save the land.
In the rush of pre-holiday season, if you didn't get around to sending in a donation to PTLT, here is your chance. And for every donation of $100 or more in 2020, you may ask for one of these beautiful world hangings by Mary's County, MD Artist Sarah Houde.
The hangings are made of the natural clay and copper wires, and then hand glazed and kiln fired.
They are suitable for indoor or outdoor use (with protection). The Earth disc is a slightly convex 4.5" wide X 9" (with dangles).
With your donation, please indicate if you want an Earth Hanging and where the hanging should be mailed. Mail checks to PTLT, P.O. Box 1955, Leonardtown, MD 20650. OR pay electronically with the DONATE button.
On behalf of the volunteers of Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust,
Happy New Year!
And Thank you.
If the death of a canary in a mine shaft is a sure warning to workers to evacuate the premises, what is the right human response to the net loss of 3 billion birds in our neighborhoods, fields and forests since 1970?
This question emerges urgently from research published in September by the journal Science, which analyzed trends in North American bird populations over the last 50 years and found that we are in the midst of a startling 30 percent decline in birdlife amounting to 3 billion fewer birds.
“These losses are a strong signal that our human-altered landscapes are losing their ability to support birdlife, and that is an indicator of a coming collapse of the overall environment,” said Ken Rosenberg, conservation scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and lead author of the study.
The declines are even greater for species that require specialized habitat to breed, migrate, or winter successfully. Nearly a quarter of the loss is occurring in grassland species, for example, such as the Eastern Meadowlark and the Grasshopper Sparrow. Grassland species have suffered a 50 percent decline overall, and the decline is particularly acute in Eastern North America. Development sprawl on undisturbed land and resistance to no-till farming practices continue to degrade habitat in our area, where the vast majority of property remains private.
Are we condemned to watch our birdlife disappear? No. Not as long as we’re willing to act. What can be done?
For starters, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has suggested “7 Simple Actions” that individuals can take to protect birdlife, such as treating window glass to avoid bird collisions, keeping cats indoors, and letting your land get a little wild with native plantings
In addition, if you own a piece of land, you can add “Simple Action Number 8” -- protect your own fields, forests or farmland. Loss of habitat is the most serious cause of bird declines. Over 90 percent of the land in Maryland is in private hands, not public parks or wildlife refuges, so private landowners must be part of the solution. The land you love can be protected forever if you attach a “conservation easement” to your deed. Such easements can be facilitated through your local land trust.
In St. Mary’s County, the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) has protected over 5600 acres of private land working with more than 30 willing landowners and government partners. And if you’re not a landowner, you can still protect land by contributing to your land trust. That’s what Wild Birds Unlimited has done by supporting the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT). You can too.
Beautiful heavy gauge aluminum signs available for PTLT protected properties
The signs are a way to share with our neighbors the joy in saving land forever...for future generations.
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