Skip to Main Content

MET Honors Conservation Leaders

MET Treasurer Jay Plager with Dillon Award recipient, Jennifer Stanley and MET Director Liz Buxton.

MET Treasurer Jay Plager with Dillon Award recipient, Jennifer Stanley and MET Director Liz Buxton.

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) announces the recipients of its 2013 Aileen Hughes and Dillon conservation awards.

Each year, MET’s Board of Trustees presents the Aileen Hughes Award to a person(s) who represents a Maryland land trust for leadership, partnership and innovation in a conservation project. The late Hughes was a leader of the State’s conservation movement, advocating for the protection of its natural and cultural resources. Susan Charkes, Executive Director of the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust earned the award for being an outstanding leader within her organization.

Over the past five years, Charkes has worked to create and foster partnerships between land trusts, conservation groups and landowners in southern Maryland for preservation planning efforts. These successful relationships resulted in the Southern Maryland Land Conservation Initiative conference, held in December 2012, where the groups met to connect, share their plans and goals, and utilize each others’ talents and know-how to develop solutions for regional land issues.

The Dillon Award is given annually to a landowner(s) who exhibits outstanding conservation and/or environmental efforts. Created in 2002, the award honors the spirit and legacy of the Dillon sisters of Garrett County who donated a conservation easement, and then their entire property, to MET in 1984. This year, MET awarded two recepients ─ Jennifer Stanley and the Commissioners of East New Market ─ for their work in preserving unique landscapes of the Eastern Shore.

Stanley was recognized for her generous donation of 1.34 acres in the town of Oxford to MET and the Eastern Shore Land Conversancy. The conservation easement will become a small public park, allowing guests to enjoy the property’s woodlands and the waterfront of Town Creek. Jennifer and her late husband, Edmund Stanley, Jr., purchased the property in the early 1980s to protect the wetland and a portion of the creek from pending development.

The Commissioners of East New Market was recognized for its gift of 9.6-acres of Friendship Park. The conservation easement ─ which protected the area from a proposed 20-lot subdivision ─ will become a public park so that visitors may forever enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and picnicking, and nature and wildlife observation.

For more information on MET, visit