|Press Releases | Search DNR | DNR Home|
Maryland Environmental Trust Awards Grants To Seven Local Land Trusts
Four Individuals Also Honored For Leadership in Land Conservation
WOODSTOCK — The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) presented three awards to local land trusts and individual land conservation leaders during the Maryland Land Trust Alliance Conference held earlier this month at the Howard County Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant Farm in Woodstock. MET awarded $35,600 to further the work of local land trusts in preserving rural landscapes and natural areas across the state.
MET presented the first annual Janice Hollman Grants to seven land trusts to further Ms. Hollman’s vision of strong and vibrant local land trusts. The grant’s namesake helped establish the Severn River Land Trust and Arundel Conservation Trust and also served on the Severn River Commission. Grants of $4,800 apiece went to the African American Land Trust, Allegheny Highlands Conservancy, Baltimore Green Space, Harford Land Trust, Howard County Conservancy, Neighborspace of Baltimore County and the Lower Shore Land Trust.
“Local land trusts play a critical role in preserving and protecting Maryland’s special rural landscapes,” said Acting Director of the Maryland Environmental Trust, John Hutson. “These grassroots organizations work tirelessly to support and encourage landowners to protect forests and farmland from development.”
MET presented two individuals with the Aileen Hughes Award for Outstanding Leadership in Land Conservation and $1,000 grants for their leadership roles in the land trust community. Created by the Maryland Land Trust Alliance and MET, the award memorializes the late Aileen Hughes, a leader in the conservation movement, supporter of women’s and civil rights, and long-serving president of the American Chestnut Land Trust. The 2008 award recognized:
- Meredith Lathbury of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy for her recent successes including local community input sessions in Cambridge which provided public input regarding uses of the 728-acre tract of farmland, wetlands, and forest preserved by Governor O’Malley last year.
- Ann Jones of the Howard County Conservancy for her commitment and dedication to land conservation and her major impact on conservation efforts in both Howard and Baltimore Counties. Her knowledge of the area, familiarity with landowners and expertise in easement wording make Jones an incredible asset for state-wide conservation efforts. She is also a member of the Long Green Valley Conservancy and the Land Preservation Trust.
“Meredith and Ann’s dedication and enthusiasm for successful land conservation were critical to providing opportunities for land trusts across the state to share experiences,” praised Hutson.
MET also honored two sisters from Garrett County with the Dillon Award for Outstanding Conservationist Landowner. The award was created thanks to an endowment from sisters Alberta and Louise Dillon, who bequeathed their entire Garrett County property to the MET in 1984. Recipients Kathryn Weise and Carol Bartram were recognized for their easement donations that preserved 125 mostly wooded acres near Thayerville, an integral part of the scenic landscape at Deep Creek Lake.
“It was inspirational to learn about the Dillon sisters and we feel humble to be associated with them. Preserving our property through the Maryland Environmental Trust makes us feel at ease when thinking about the future of our little Garrett County hilltop“ said Kathryn Weise.
“We are also proud to share the honor with our mother, and very appreciative that she decided to purchase the property many years ago,” added Carol Bartram.
More than 40 land conservation organizations participated in the day-long conference held on the 300 year old, 232-acre farm. Various education sessions were held to discuss issues such as climate change impacts and stewardship as well as other timely topics to equip the Maryland’s land trusts with the latest information to achieve their mission of protecting the forests, farm fields, and natural, undeveloped special habitats across the state.
Iantha Gantt-Wright, founder and president of the Kenian Group, served as the conference’s keynote speaker. Winner of numerous awards such as the Department of the Interior’s Award for “Stellar Deeds in Advancing Diversity,” Wright spoke of her experiences as an African American environmentalist, and the challenges of including diverse groups and cultures within the environmental movement.
“It’s not just about a certain group of people,” Ms. Wright said. “We have to connect with all sorts of new groups of people in the up and coming generation.”
Since its creation in 1967, the Maryland Environmental Trust has protected nearly 1,000 properties resulting in more than 120,000 acres statewide via conservation easements. MET accepts tax deductible donations of interests in real estate, money or other property. In giving conservation easements, landowners donate the development rights on their property while retaining all other rights of ownership. For more information on MET land easements visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/met/.
June 23, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbelll
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cellll
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov