Lower Shore Land Trust has completed a conservation easement on 114 acres with Cherrywalk Farms in Wicomico County’s Quantico Creek Rural Legacy Area.
The project was the result of a diverse partnership between LSLT, Wicomico County, the Department of Natural Resources Rural Legacy Program, the U.S. Navy through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Healthy Watersheds Consortium.
This conservation easement adds to an area with over 1,000 acres of previously preserved land.
“My wife Cairn and I are grateful that we were able to preserve our property with a conservation easement, and we are thankful for the dedication of all of the partners involved with this project,” said property owner Bart Boucher. “Knowing that the farmland, wetland, and our portion of the creek will be protected forever makes us both very happy.”
The easement permanently protects approximately 85 acres of productive agricultural land, 14 acres of wetland, and 11 acres of riparian forest. Most of the property is located in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, and the property has more than 5,000 linear feet of frontage on Quantico Creek, a tributary of the Nanticoke River. The easement requires a 100-foot vegetative buffer along the creek which will enhance the existing wetlands’ ability to protect water quality.
The property is also beneath U.S. Navy airspace, and its conservation will limit development that can be incompatible with the aircraft testing mission of the Atlantic Test Ranges and Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The Rural Legacy Program aim is to preserve working lands and wildlife habitat while improving water quality protections within locally designated areas in the state. The partnership with the U.S. Navy and Chesapeake Conservancy brings valuable funds to the table that match the state funding to enhance the program’s ability to deliver more conservation. LSLT works with Wicomico County, the local RLP sponsor, and landowners to preserve properties with conservation easements in the QCRLA which extends from Quantico Creek north to the Delaware line. Since the QCRLA was established in 2000, over 4,838 acres have been preserved through the program in Wicomico County.