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MET Awards Grants To Land Trusts Across The State

Crownsville, Md. (October 27, 2011) - The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) awarded five matching grants totaling $18,800 to land trusts as part of the Jan Holmann Grant Program. These annual grants support local land trust activities that include land conservation, outreach and stewardship efforts.

“MET is pleased to provide these organizations with the training, knowledge and capacity required to be well-positioned for accreditation and sustainability for future generations,” said Elizabeth Buxton, MET Director. “Helping land trusts build their capacity is the primary goal of MET’s Land Trust Assistance Program.”

The Catoctin Land Trust, Charm City Land Trust, Harford Land Trust, Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, and the Potomac Conservancy received the 2011 Jan Holmann Grants. Their projects include preparation for land trust accreditation, maintenance of McElderry Park in Baltimore, strategic conservation planning for the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, outreach efforts in targeted areas in Harford County and installing innovative deer exclusion fencing to protect riparian buffers and hardwood plantations in the Potomac River Watershed.

MET partners with more than 50 land trusts in the State to permanently protect scenic open space, forests and working farms. In addition to grants, MET also provides technical assistance and training to land trusts.

A land trust is a nonprofit organization that actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition or by its stewardship of such land or easements. Land trusts work with landowners and the community to conserve land by accepting donations of land, purchasing land, negotiating conservation agreements on land, and stewarding conserved land through the generations to come.

MET awards the Jan Holmann Grants annually to eligible land trusts. Applications are due in the spring of each year. To be eligible to receive grants, land trusts must sign a cooperative agreement with MET and be a “qualified organization” under Section 170(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Grant funds can be used for the direct targeting, solicitation, processing, and stewardship of donated conservation easements. Expenses may include identification of easement donor prospects, outreach, solicitation, easement negotiating and deed drafting, staff time dedicated to easement work, staff time dedicated to easement work, purchase of maps, photos and costs of meetings and property research expenses. Easement monitoring and stewardship costs are eligible. All grants require a 100 percent match from the land trust of in-kind services or privately raised funds.

The grant program is named in memory of Jan Holmann who exemplified citizen leadership of land trusts in Maryland. Holmann was co-founder of the Severn River Land Trust and the Arundel Conservation Trust, and served on the Severn River Commission. She was Izaac Walton League’s Conservationist of the Year in 1989 and the Capital newspaper’s Person of the Year in 1990. She passed in 1990. The Jan Holmann Grant program is supported in part by the Maryland State Highway Administration. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met/grant_programs.asp.

A statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees and affiliated with the Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. It holds more than 1,030 easements totaling over 127,000 acres across the State. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Stewardship Program and Local Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.


   October 27, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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