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MET Awards $28,000 in Grants through Keep Maryland Beautiful Program

2012 Statewide Land Conservation Conference is a Success

MET Awards $28,000 in Grants through Keep Maryland Beautiful Program

Crownsville, Md. (May 24, 2012) ─ As part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program, the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) awarded $28,000 in grants to non-profit organizations and schools to support environmental education and demonstrative projects that will enhance and maintain the State’s health and appearance. MET announced the award and grant winners to a packed house during the annual Maryland Land Conservation Conference on May 15 in Columbia.

“MET is pleased to provide these annual grants, especially during these tough economic times, to encourage environmental programming and educational projects,” said Director Elizabeth Buxton.

This year’s Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants include:

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award is named in honor of the first executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program.

  • Award winners: The Greater Baltimore Urban League; Ann’s Circle; Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition; Baltimore Orchard Project; Greater Waldorf Jaycees Foundation; World Arts Focus; Friends of Patapsco Valley & Heritage Greenway; University of Maryland, College Park; Red Wiggler Community Farm; Normal, Inc.; Philips Wharf Environmental Center; and Friends of Martinak State Park.

The William (Bill) James Environmental Education Awards are given in memory of Senate President William S. James who drafted legislation creating MET and incorporated the activities of the Governor's Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful.

  • Award winners: The GreenMount School, Baltimore; Sligo Creek Elementary School PTA; Perryville High School; Silver Spring Day School; St. Mary’s Elementary School, Annapolis; Environmental Concerns, Inc.; the BishopWalsh School, Cumberland; and the Pine Grove Middle School, Parkville.   

The Jan Hollmann Grants are awarded to selected land trusts to support their land conservation, outreach and stewardship programs. The award is named in memory of Jan Hollmann who co-founded the Severn River Land Trust and the Arundel Conservation Trust, and served on the Severn River Commission.

  • The following land trusts received award: The Lower Shore Land Trust; Harford Land Trust; Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust; Baltimore Green Space; and NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, Inc.

The Aileen Hughes Award is given in the memory of Aileen Hughes, a leader in Maryland’s conservation movement. The award supports local land trust activities, including land conservation, outreach and stewardship efforts.
       ●    Rick Leader was selected to receive this award for his dedicated leadership as executive director of the Scenic Rivers Land Trust. The award money will fund ongoing work at Scenic Rivers.  

The Dillon Award is given to a landowner who exhibits outstanding conservation in honor of the spirit and legacy of the Dillon sisters of Garrett County who donated a conservation easement and then bequeathed their entire Garrett County property to MET in 1984.

  • Kent County resident, Louisa Duemling was presented with this award for her outstanding efforts in preserving the unique landscape of the Eastern Shore. In 2009, she donated a conservation easement to MET and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. The easement, MET’s largest, forever safeguards 1,087 acres of forest, 1,692 acres of tilled land and 50 acres of freshwater ponds. In addition, 9.2 miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay, Churn Creek, Tims Creek, Worton Creek and Still Pond are protected. The property is also home to the Delmarva fox squirrel habitat, interior dwelling bird habitat and five bald eagle nests.

More than 160 land conservationists from the Chesapeake Bay Region gathered at the annual Maryland Land Conservation Conference and award ceremony at the new Robinson Nature Center in Howard County on May 15. The Statewide conference, hosted annually by MET, offered a full day of educational sessions, tours and discussions related to the theme, Saving Land – Saving the Chesapeake.

The event’s keynote speaker was Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. The attendees learned about successful sustainability initiatives and land protection measures in Howard County. The conference also featured 19 conservation leaders who presented their ideas on Thinking Landscape: Beyond Random Acts of Conservation. In a series of six-minute lightning talks, attendees learned about initiatives in land trust; partnerships and collaboration, capacity building and financing, advancements in science and technology, large landscape conservation planning and land and water conservation.

Conference participants also took part in a walk to identify invasive species and a tour with the architect of the new Robinson Nature Center, Howard County’s newest LEED certified building. The afternoon sessions included Stewardship, Capacity Building for Land Trusts, Large Landscape Conservation Plans for the Chesapeake, Building Strong Easements, Conserving Urban Open Space, Preparing for Accreditation, Understanding Watershed Implementation Plans & Total Daily Maximum Loads, as well as Collaboration and New Tools for Land Trusts.

The Maryland Land Conservation Conference was made possible by the generous financial support from the Abell Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy, Conservation Fund, Land Trust Alliance, National Park Service-Chesapeake Bay Office, Trust for Public Lands and Kann Partners Architects and Planners.

Officially established in 1973, Keep Maryland Beautiful was MET’s first program, transferred to MET by the Governor Committee. Since then, MET has developed an annual awards and grants program to encourage citizens and organizations take part in volunteer activities, conservation practices and recognize outstanding leadership in land conservation within Maryland.

The Keep Maryland Beautiful program is funded in part by the Maryland State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation. For more information on Keep Maryland Beautiful, visit dnr.maryland.gov/met/grant_programs.asp.  

The Maryland Environmental Trust serves as the statewide land trust and is governed by a citizen board of trustees which represent all regions of the state. MET was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly and is affiliated with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country and holds over 1000 conservation easements protecting over 127,000 acres of scenic open space, forest and farm land. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Land Trust Assistance Program. For more information, please visit dnr.maryland.gov/met.


   May 24, 2012

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. 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