News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Environmental Trust Awards $30,000 in Grants

Local trusts plan to use money for green projects across the state

Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) recently announced eight grants totaling $30,000 to land trust organizations across Maryland. The grants were awarded to Baltimore Green Space, Lower Shore Land Trust, The Manor Conservancy, The African American Land Trust, Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, Inc., Charm City Land Trusts, Inc. and the American Chestnut Land Trust, Inc.

“All of these organizations are doing great work for Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This money will go to local land trusts working hard to help move Maryland in a Smart, Green and Growing direction, while staying true to the memory of Janice Hollman.”

The grants are made in honor of Janice Hollman to further her vision of strong and vibrant local land trusts. Janice Hollman helped found the Severn River Land Trust and Arundel Conservation Trust and also served on the Severn River Commission.

“MET, together with State Highway Association, is happy to partner and provide these grants to assist the local land trust community who are critical to conserving open space, forest and farms in Maryland,” said MET Executive Director Elizabeth Buxton.

The grants are part of the Land Trust Assistance Program, from the Maryland Environmental Trust, and are funded by the State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation. Local organizations will be able to strengthen land conservation and public outreach programs, build community partnerships and implement best business practices.

Baltimore Green Space wants to continue work on the green spaces survey within Baltimore City to inform outreach efforts for future years. Baltimore Green Space, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2007 by a group of community gardeners who wanted to see their communities’ treasured open spaces remain available to residents. Baltimore Green Space is a land trust that partners with communities to preserve and support community gardens, pocket parks and other community-managed open spaces. The land trust protects the social and environmental benefits that residents create through their sweat equity investments in their neighborhoods.

Lower Shore Land Trust will increase its strategic conservation easement solicitation to target areas for protection of biodiversity habitat. The Lower Shore Land Trust has assisted landowners in preserving over 10,500 acres of land in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

The Manor Conservancy in Baltimore County will increase conservation easement targeting, publications and stewardship.

The African American Land Trust will focus on direct outreach to minority landowners on the Eastern Shore, through community based workshops and seminars. The African American Land Trust advices on and researches barriers to clear land title within minority communities. Recent initiatives include working with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in minority communities on the Eastern Shore.

Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust, working in southern Maryland, wishes to expand its operations with outreach into underserved geographical areas and to their capacity and stewardship.

NeighborSpace of Baltimore County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that identifies and acquires land in Community Conservation and Growth Areas of Baltimore County to provide small parks, gardens, and natural areas with support of local residents, to benefit residents, and "green" older established neighborhoods.

Charm City Land Trusts, Inc. in Baltimore City will acquire the last two lots from the 600 block of North Port Street for a community garden on the twenty lots managed by Amazing Port Street Community Green.

American Chestnut Land Trust, based in southern Maryland is pursuing land trust accreditation with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006. The Commission will award the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The American Chestnut Land Trust runs a large volunteer program on land restoration projects, education and outreach, including non-native invasive plant removal, guided naturalist hikes and canoe guides.

A statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees, The Maryland Environmental Trust, was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly to preserve privately owned farm and forest lands and significant natural resources. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. It holds 985 easements and has protected over 120,000 acres across the state. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov/met and www.conservemd.org..


   June 15, 2009

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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