Land Trust Preserves 270 Acres in Wicomico County

Snow Hill, MD – The Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT) is excited to announce the protection of a 270-acre farm on Rewastico Creek in Wicomico County. The property is a family-owned farm that includes approximately 70 acres of agricultural land and 200 acres of forest and forested wetlands. The protection of this property adds to an extensive area of protected lands in and around the Quantico Creek Rural Legacy Area (QCRLA). The landowners were among the first to show support for the expansion of the QCRLA in 2017, which added lands north of Cherrywalk Road including Rewastico Creek, most of the Paleochannel to the north and west of the City of Salisbury, and lands in the vicinity of, but not including, the Town of Hebron.

“Working with landowners to help them preserve their family legacies is a pleasure and an honor. Finalizing this project was especially gratifying given the many trials and tribulations we had to overcome. I am grateful for the dedication of the landowners and all of the many partners that stuck with me through it all. The preservation of this farm is a true testament to what can be done when we all come together with a common purpose” said Jared Parks, LSLT Land Programs Manager.

Maryland, and the Lower Eastern Shore, in particular, provide a multitude of conservation options for rural landowners and a host of organizations and local, state, and federal governmental partners dedicated to the preservation of the landscapes that make this area so special. This project highlights the collaborative approach to achieving mutual conservation goals. Without the dedication of our partners–  Wicomico County, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Rural Legacy Program, the U.S. Navy through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program, Chesapeake Conservancy and Mt. Cuba Center, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Healthy Watersheds Consortium– this project would not have been possible.

“Chesapeake Conservancy is deeply grateful to the many partners who made this conservation success story possible,” said Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn. “Conservation projects can be very time-consuming, especially during a global pandemic, but we all kept our eyes on the prize, and thanks to the patience and fortitude of partners like Mt. Cuba Center, we have much to celebrate today. Thank you also to the family for choosing conservation. Future generations will be forever grateful for your legacy.”

“Mt. Cuba Center is committed to protecting open spaces and native flora throughout our region,” said Ann Rose, Mt. Cuba Center’s president. “We thank the Lower Shore Land Trust and Chesapeake Conservancy for leading this important conservation project, which will preserve these forests, fields, and wetlands for generations to come. We are pleased that our support will help save the many plant and animal species that call the Nanticoke River watershed home.”

LSLT was able to garner extra financial support for the project due to the property’s location in the Nanticoke River watershed, a priority watershed for the Chesapeake Conservancy and the U.S. Navy through the Department of Defense REPI program. Protection of the property ensures water quality benefits for the Nanticoke River while limiting development that could be incompatible with the aircraft testing mission of the Atlantic Test Ranges and Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The Maryland Rural Legacy Program (RLP) provides funding to preserve working lands and wildlife habitat while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource-based industries by acquiring conservation easements from willing landowners within locally designated areas in the state. The partnership with the U.S. Navy and Chesapeake Conservancy brings valuable funds to the table that matches the state funding to enhance the program’s ability to deliver more conservation. LSLT works with Wicomico County, which is the local RLP sponsor, and landowners to preserve properties with conservation easements in the QCRLA that extends from Quantico Creek north to the Delaware line. Since the QCRLA was established in 2000, over 5,000 acres have been preserved in perpetuity through the Rural Legacy Program in Wicomico County.

To learn more about LSLT and land conservation and restoration programs, please contact Jared Parks at 443-234-5587 or [email protected].