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April 18, 2013

MET Permanently Protects Scenic Farm along Tubman Byway

by Martha

Permanently Protected Farmland in Dorchester County

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy have permanently protected 226 acres of farmland along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway from development through a conservation easement.

“The area features large farms sweeping back to the tree line of forested areas that have remained unchanged since Tubman’s time,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “The farm evokes the period of the Underground Railroad and enables one to imagine the difficulty a slave had finding cover to avoid discovery.”

The easement is located in Dorchester County near the community of East New Market. It consists of 181 acres of farmlands and 40 acres of woodlands, and includes extensive forested shoreline along Cabin Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River. This family farm is an integral part of the area’s agricultural setting and provides travelers with scenic views of open fields backed by dense forests. The conservation easement will forever preserve the land’s historic and scenic characteristics.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is a 125-mile, self-guided driving tour that shares the extraordinary stories of those who risked their lives to escape slavery in the 1800s. The byway connects some of the most pristine working landscapes found along the East Coast and captures the rural lifestyle and culture of family farming on the Eastern Shore. In March 2013, Maryland broke ground for the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center located along the byway in Cambridge.

MET currently holds more than 1,050 easements totaling more than 129,000 acres in Maryland. Governed by a citizen board of trustees, MET is affiliated with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and promotes the permanent protection of land through its Conservation Easement, Stewardship and Land Trust Assistance Programs. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.

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