300 Acres Along Susquehanna River Protected Forever; Parks Expanded
BALTIMORE (Oct. 17, 2022) — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joined officials from Harford and Cecil counties, the Chesapeake Conservancy and Constellation on Oct. 15 to celebrate the company’s commitment to donate approximately 300 acres of land near the Conowingo Dam to the State of Maryland. As the nation’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy, Constellation’s donation will support conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and enhances public access to local, state and national park systems.
“As governor, I have looked for opportunities to bring people together and build partnerships between state and local government, the private sector and non-government organizations to create results that improve the quality of life for Maryland residents,” Gov. Hogan said. “Constellation’s donation of land to support recreation and conservation is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
A ribbon cutting to celebrate the donation was held at the trailhead of Wildflower Trail on Shure’s Landing Road in Darlington, Md., on Saturday.
“This donation builds on Constellation’s ongoing sustainability leadership, including advancing environmental stewardship, protecting local wildlife, and supporting local recreational opportunities,” said Kathleen Barrón, Constellation’s Chief Strategy Officer. “As a Maryland company and as owner and operator of the Conowingo Dam, the state’s largest source of renewable energy, Constellation’s donation will complement our existing investments in environmental programs and projects that directly benefit water quality, aquatic life and recreational resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly locally here along the banks of the Lower Susquehanna.”
The land donation is a collaborative effort between Constellation, the State of Maryland, and local, county and state conservation and environmental agencies and non-profit organizations, including the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, Inc., Port Deposit, Havre de Grace, the Harford Land Trust, Cecil Land Trust and the Chesapeake Conservancy.
“The donation of this land will expand Susquehanna State Park and local parks in Havre de Grace and Port Deposit. It is a dream come true for local communities and park enthusiasts,” said Joel Dunn, president and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy. “Thanks to Gov. Hogan and Constellation, this critical habitat and world class outdoor recreation opportunity will never be lost to development and there will be more public access to the Susquehanna River. We commend Constellation for choosing conservation and recreation for the future of this land.”
The property will become part of local, state and national park systems and conservation projects consisting of parks, trails and other public lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that bring national and international attention to the Bay’s significant natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources. The donated land will be permanently preserved for conservation purposes for the benefit of the public. Such protection will promote healthy ecosystems and habitats, bolster environmental stewardship and literacy and support climate resiliency.
“The Susquehanna River is part of our identity in Harford County. It brings us tremendous joy to know that the riverfront will remain undeveloped forever,” said Kristin Kirkwood, Harford Land Trust’s Executive Director. “A land donation of this size and significance is truly remarkable and we thank Constellation for this forward-thinking gift.”
The property is nearby the Conowingo Dam, which operates 11 turbines that produce the majority of Maryland’s in-state renewable energy, enough to power 165,000 homes on average, preventing 880,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking 170,000 cars off the road each year.
Between the Conowingo Dam in Darlington, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Station in Lusby and three wind projects in Garrett and Alleghany Counties, Constellation produces over 90 percent of Maryland’s in-state clean, zero-emission electric generation. Constellation is investing $700 million in environmental programs and projects that directly benefit water quality, aquatic life and recreational resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly along the banks of the Lower Susquehanna.