Interested in protecting Maryland’s natural areas and landscapes? Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) is looking for volunteers who are passionate about land conservation to work in our office or in the field as Land Steward Volunteers.
As one of the oldest and most successful land trusts, MET has protected more than 133,000 acres with more than 1,077 conservation easements. Each conservation easement is protected forever and requires yearly visual assessments to monitor for compliance. With a small staff of 10-12 employees, MET relies on volunteers to complete important office tasks and to serve as our eyes and ears on many of the protected properties throughout Maryland.
We have two opportunities available.
- Office Volunteer:
Volunteers are needed at our office in Crownsville, MD to work on a wide variety of projects that can be tailored to each volunteer’s skills and interests. Possible activities include creating ArcGIS maps, filing, scanning, photo management, helping with mailings, writing and editing articles, and more. Our volunteers typically commit one day a week in our office with flexible hours and are provided an orientation and training.
- Land Steward Volunteer:
If you enjoy visiting beautiful protected areas nearby your county of residence, then you will enjoy the work of a Land Steward Volunteer. Land Steward Volunteers visit protected properties to document changes using a short monitoring form and photographs. Conservation easements are throughout the state of Maryland, allowing Volunteers to choose their geographical preference. Volunteers should be over 20 years of age, physically able to walk rugged terrain and have their own transportation and camera. A one day training at our Crownsville office is required. Visits are made to significant natural areas, working farms, forest land, waterfronts, historic countryside, and scenic landscapes.
If interested in becoming an MET volunteer, please print, fill and email a completed application to Jamie Salabogi, Volunteer Coordinator, at Jamie.Salabogi@Maryland.Gov
Contributions For Stewardship
Landowners donating a conservation easement to the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) are protecting land by giving up most rights to develop their land in perpetuity – a very long time.
For our part, MET's obligations are equally significant and long lasting: to protect the conservation values of each property and carry out the easement donor's intent to preserve their heritage and values for protecting their property. MET is permanently responsible for the monitoring and stewardship of conservation easements entrusted to us.
Monitoring easement properties and stewardship require considerable resources, especially as the number of conservation easements held by MET tops 1,000. Expenses include staffing, transportation, data management, communications, and imaging and mapping technologies. MET must maintain the capability to perform these duties 10, 20, even 100 years into the future. Stewardship of some properties incurs expenses and obligations not covered by State funding. Your donation will help us preserve properties that are protected forever.
Please help protect MET’s conserved properties by making a tax deductible contribution. Send your check to MET 100 Community Place Crownsville, MD 21032. You can make a contribution in the memory of a loved one or in honor of someone you admire. Donations may be restricted to the MET Stewardship Fund or unrestricted and used for general operations.
If you are interested in donating a gift of stock, please contact MET's Director. All gifts to MET will directly support our stewardship efforts to preserve unique and special places. Your donation will be managed by MET separately from our state funding.
Click here to read MET’s Gift Policy.
How much does stewardship cost?
Monitoring activities can cost between $100 to $500 per year per easement. Significantly more is needed if legal action is required to uphold the terms of the conservation easement. Read more...
Request for Easement Donor Stewardship Contributions
We ask every easement donor to consider making a monetary contribution in addition to an easement gift. The suggested contribution is $5,000 per easement donation. The contribution can be made as a lump sum at the time of donation, or in installments over a period of five years (MET can furnish a pledge agreement for this purpose). Under IRS rules, such a contribution is deductible as an expense associated with the easement gift.
MET's decision to accept any proposed easement is made independent of the donor's choice to make a stewardship contribution or not. A potential stewardship contribution will NOT influence MET's decision to accept, or not accept, a conservation easement.
How MET Handles the Easement Donor Stewardship Contribution
Money contributed to MET to support easement stewardship will be tracked by donor, MET will acknowledge the contribution in writing, and the money will be deposited in MET's Stewardship Fund, a separate non-state account available only to MET. The Fund assets will not be used by any other State agency, department, or unit, nor will they be transferred to the General Fund or any other fund of the State of Maryland. The contributions entering the account will be invested and managed according to MET's investment policies for our non-state funds.
If the easement donor chooses to defer the stewardship fund contribution, MET will ask that the donor acknowledge this in writing, using and signing a pledge agreement to pay the contribution over a period of time, preferably not to exceed five years. A copy of the pledge agreement will be maintained in MET's financial records and in the MET easement file for the donor's property(ies).
When the Easement is Donated Jointly to MET and Another Land Trust
MET maintains partnerships with many land trusts, and regularly accepts easement donations jointly with other organizations. In these cases MET and the partner land trust will coordinate the request for a stewardship contribution during easement negotiations.