Welcome to Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT), Your local land trust

Support PTLT

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

A Land Trust Story

All About Us

Wonder what the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust is all about? Watch this video and learn the history and philosophy behind our organization.



Outstanding Fundraising Endeavor!

Thank you Peter Neus and all who contributed to this wonderful fundraising drive that exceeded its goals to support the PTLT, way to go!!

PTLT thanks its corporate donors

By Staff Writer Phil Hayward

While PTLT is an all-volunteer organization, we still have fixed annual costs. Besides individual member contributions, we rely on corporate donations to help with administrative needs and to allow us to do the actual work of preserving land in Southern Maryland.

Our most generous support in 2019 came from Wild Birds Unlimited of Lexington Park and Waldorf and Corncrib Studio in Park Hall.

We greatly appreciate the ongoing support from the Good Earth in Leonardtown, the Port of Leonardtown Winery, and Two Hens Feeds, Seeds, and Bees in Park Hall.

PTLT thanks Dominion Power and Nature Conservancy for their contributions. Their support allowed us to pay for contracted work necessary for completing easement work and for long-term stewardship expenses. 

For more information on how your company or business can support land conservation in Southern Maryland, please contact PTLT President Frank Allen:


Fundraising success!


Thank you to Becky Benton, organizer of the March 7 immensely successful French Stitch Bookbinding class. The proceeds from the event amounted to a $1442.80 check to benefit PTLT! Wow! Thank you!
Carol Morris and Margaret Mackie of Art Artcrossings led a great all day class. The extensive preparation for the class and instruction were superb. And a hearty thank you to Becky's husband, Fred (who is a superb cook), and provided a most delicious lunch. Good Samaritan Lutheran Church scheduled the class in the Fellowship Hall for patrons and instructors. Thank you to The Good Earth Natural Food Store, Leonardtown, for the tasty and healthy snacks.
It was a lot of work, but well worth it. A lot of beautiful new books were created and 16 more people have a new skill. Again thank you Becky, for your vision and hard work and Happy Birthday!


Hemlock Preserve

About a dozen Friends of PTLT and Hemlock Preserve showed up for the workday and hike on Saturday morning. It was cold but dry. All the hands made swift work repairing the stairway to the beach. The group went for a hike in the Preserve afterwards. It was a very skilled and interesting group of people. Thank you everyone! Many agreed we should do more of this here.

the past is alive

An interview with Merideth Taylor, author of Listening in: Echoes and Artifacts from Maryland’s Mother County.

Shortly after arriving at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1990 to teach dance and theater, Merideth Taylor set about exploring the backroads of Southern Maryland, camera in hand. Her forays would result in a 162-page book of photos and stories – Listening In: Echoes and Artifacts from Maryland’s Mother County.

Her book consists of brief entries accompanied by color photographs of one-of-a-kind built houses, stores, schoolhouses, churches, and barns – many far from their best years. Some still function, many are in advanced ruin, and some have since been demolished. Taylor’s stories depict imagined voices associated with each structure: children of tobacco workers, the young African American janitor at the schoolhouse at Sotterley Plantation, a moonshiner, a boardinghouse operator, and many more. Some voices are in the first person, others in the third person.

(Read more...)


A New Year's Resolution We Can Keep...FOREVER!

An Earth Art Piece, from the Clay of the Earth

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.

We’ve Been Tough on Birds – Now Let’s Help Them Out

David Moulton (Board Member PTLT) and Barb Whipkey (Owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, Lexington Park)

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.


Conservation Signs announce protected lands!

The first signs are being placed by proud landowners, the Mareks

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.

Thank you!

One of most popular volunteer activities!


Easement Monitoring Workshop this Fall

Do you enjoy exploring the great outdoors? 

Are you interested in visiting rural and agricultural properties in southern Maryland? If the answer is YES then you may be interested in becoming a volunteer easement monitor for the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT). PTLT is a non-profit organization that holds easements on privately owned properties that legally restrict intense development on undeveloped and farm properties while permitting traditional uses. Each property must be visited annually as part of the terms of the easement to ensure adherence to the easement terms. The easement monitor contacts the property owner independently to arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time and then documents their findings in a simple report.

A training session for prospective volunteers will be held at Summerseat Farm at 26655 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville MD 20659 on Saturday October 12, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  If interested, please email with “PTLT training” in the subject line and advise the number of attendees. More information on the organization may be found at

“This is a new way to conserve land,” says PTLT President Frank Allen. “It’s a hybrid purchase/donation that allows for money for staff hours and a stewardship endowment to be donated by the grantor – The Nature Conservancy in this case.”

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,
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
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
Frank Allen, President PTLT