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The Maryland Environmental Trust Protects Land and Views Near Mount Vernon

Fields and forest on easement property

Fields and forest on easement property

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) has partnered with the Conservancy for Charles County and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union to protect 65 acres on Bryans Road through a conservation easement. The donation will prevent development and permanently protect the flora and fauna on the property, which is located within the viewshed of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate along the Potomac River.

The property contains a relatively high ridgeline with hardwood forest, which keeps existing development in Bryans Road from being seen by Mount Vernon visitors. The easement ensures that the forest will never be cut down, and protects the relatively natural habitat for forest interior dwelling bird species, second or third growth forest and low lying wetlands. A portion of Pomonkey Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, flows along the northern portion of the property.

The Mount Vernon Ladies Association acquired the land in 2012 to primarily protect the scenic view from the George Washington estate. The Association has been collaborating with area organizations for more than 50 years to protect the viewshed corridor along the Maryland side of the Potomac River, and has been successful in protecting more than 5,000 acres in Prince George’s and Charles counties.  The Conservancy for Charles County, the area’s local land trust, and MET co-hold the easement.

MET was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly as the State’s first statewide land protection program. MET holds more than 1,070 conservation easements totaling approximately 131,000 acres of scenic open space, forest and farmland 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. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit