The Maryland Environmental Trust Awards $27,000 in Grants
2014 Maryland Land Conservation Conference Sees Record Attendance
As part of its annual awards, the Maryland Environmental Trust granted a total of $27,000 to land preservation groups statewide. MET announced the award and grant winners to a record number of guests during the 14th annual Maryland Land Conservation Conference, held April 3 and 4 at the Claggett Center in Adamstown.
“This year marked the best conference to date,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “We were thrilled to have the minds and experience of more than 200 land conservationists representing 115 organizations from across the Bay region, gathered to support one another’s efforts and share in the mission of preserving critical lands across Maryland.”
The conference featured a variety of education workshops, field trips and peer-to-peer networking opportunities, with DNR’s own, Secretary Joe Gill, providing the keynote address, available here. Gill highlighted the significance of using alternative environmental messaging when communicating the important work of conservationists.
MET Chair James O’Connell presented the following awards and grants at the conference’s evening reception on April 3:
The Dillon Award was given to Dr. Robert G. Hamilton who donated a 46-acre easement with a public “pick-your-own fruit” Hybridoma Organic Fruit Farm to MET, forever protecting the productive agricultural land, woodland, and tributaries of the Gunpowder River in the Long Green Valley of Baltimore County. Dr. Hamilton also installed a solar system on the farm, which provides all of the farm’s electrical power, and partnered with the Maryland Forest Service to plant a riparian buffer consisting of approximately 500 fruit and nut trees along the stream.
This award is given to a landowner who exhibits outstanding conservation in honor of the spirit and legacy of the Dillon sisters of Garrett County who donated a conservation easement and then bequeathed their entire Garrett County property to MET in 1984.
The Janice Hollmann Grant winners, Baltimore Green Space, Cecil Land Trust, the Conservancy for Charles County, Harford Land Trust, the Land Preservation Trust and Lower Shore Land Trust, will each receive a portion of $27,000. The Maryland State Highway Administration provides the funding for these grants to individuals and organizations for conservation, outreach and stewardship programs, or to honor outstanding conservation and environmental efforts. The award is named in memory of Jan Hollmann who cofounded the Severn River Land Trust and the Arundel Conservation Trust, and served on the Severn River Commission.
The Aileen Hughes Award winner was Karen Edgecombe, Executive Director of the American Chestnut Land Trust, for her outstanding leadership and creative thinking in the pursuit of land conservation in Calvert County. This award is given in the memory of Aileen Hughes, a leader in Maryland’s conservation movement, to support local land trust activities, including land conservation, outreach and stewardship efforts.
This annual conference − the only statewide gathering of land conservationists and trusts of its kind in Maryland − was made possible by the generous funding from the following sponsors: The Abell Foundation; American Forest Foundation; Brewers Association of Maryland; Civil War Trust; The Conservation Fund; Chesapeake Conservancy; The Conservation Fund; Ecosystem Recovery Institute; Ecotone, Inc.; Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust; Land Trust Alliance; Monocacy Brewery Company; National Park Service (Chesapeake Bay Office); Potomac Conservancy; O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue LLP; South Mountain Creamer; The Trust for Public Land; Wright, Constable & Skeen, LLP.
The Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly as a charitable organization and serves as the statewide land trust. MET currently holds more than 1,070 easements totaling approximately 130,000 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.