On March 13, 2009 at 3 p.m., the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) will host a ribbon cutting at a property it recently protected on Marshyhope Creek. ESLC’s partners in the preservation of this property will be present, including representatives from ESLC, The Nature Conservancy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dorchester County, and the DelMarVa Council of Boy Scouts of America. According to The Nature Conservancy, the property which is located the confluence of the Marshyhope and Nanticoke Rivers in Dorchester County, is one of the State’s “Last Great Places.”
The 392-acre property includes approximately 332 acres of wet and upland forest, 45 acres of agricultural fields, and the remaining acreage in open space. It is the site of the globally rare Wades Savanna wetland, the only wetland of its kind in Maryland, Wetlands of Special State Concern, as well as ancient sand dunes. The property is also known to contain habitat for a lengthy list of rare, threatened and endangered species.
Despite long-time efforts by conservation groups to protect the land, the property was purchased in 2005 for the purpose of mining sand and gravel. In August 2008, using Federal money through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) and private funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), ESLC purchased the property in order to protect it forever.
ESLC will transfer the property to Dorchester County once a lease agreement is approved by the CELCP program. At the time of the transfer, the County will convey a conservation easement which allows only natural, environmental, educational, scenic, cultural, open space, historic, and rural uses of the property because CELCP monies were used to acquire the property. The property will be leased by Boy Scouts of America, which operates the Richard A. Henson Scout Reservation on an adjacent property.
The ribbon cutting ceremony, which is open to the public, will include a blessing of the land by Chief Winterhawk, as well as tours of the property and refreshments. The property is located at 5603 Sharptown Roadin Rhodesdale, MD. For directions and further information, visit www.eslc.org or call 410-827-9756.