BERLIN – The Lower Shore Land Trust, a private, non-profit charitable organization devoted to maintaining important open spaces in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties through voluntary programs, has created a permanent endowment through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. The endowment has been created to provide long-term, dependable resources to fund the Trust’s operations.
“We believe this partnership will further the effort of the Trust to recruit additional donated and purchased conservation easements to maintain the working landscapes, natural habitat and open spaces on the Lower Shore,” Trust Chairman Mike Phillips said.
The endowment known as the Lower Shore Land Preservation Fund and managed by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore will provide the Trust with investment earnings for operations and help to accelerate open space preservation.
“We appreciate the faith and confidence the Lower Shore Land Trust has placed in the Community Foundation to effectively manage the Trust’s resources so they will be available to preserve and protect conservation easements in our region for all time,” said Spicer Bell, CFES President.
In recent years, the Trust has expanded its board of directors and rejuvenated the program work through grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Maryland Cooperative Extension Rural Development Center in Princess Anne.
Among the first gifts to the endowment is a $10,000 donation by the James Myers family. Additionally, his son and nephew have contributed to the endowment. Myers became involved with the Lower Shore Land Trust several years ago when he protected his Somerset County farm of over 250 with a conservation easement held by the Lower Shore Land Trust and the Maryland Environmental Trust.
“I am so pleased that you can offer this service here on the Lower Shore. I know that this land will be protected forever, and the farm will continue to provide critical nesting and feeding areas for migratory birds and other wildlife,” Myers said. “My family will have the farm to enjoy for generations.”
Myers added that he hopes his family will continue his interest and love for the outdoors and urges them and others to be involved in the environmental issues on the shore.
Executive Director Kate Patton has been working toward the establishment of the endowment over the last year.
“The Trust is thrilled to partner with the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Mr. Myers is a perfect example of someone interested in supporting the Trust.” Patton said. “He has recognized that while he has received some tax benefit to protecting the land, the Lower Shore Land Trust must provide stewardship and uphold the terms of the easement on perpetuity. Mr. Myers’ contribution to the endowment helps to ensure long – term and dependable resources are available for the Trust.”
Patton also commented that there are many supporters who are not major landowners but recognize the value and importance of the mission of the Lower Shore Land Trust and wish to further the work of the organization. The endowment offers these donors an opportunity to make a significant contribution to land preservation on the Lower Shore.
For more information about the Lower Shore Land Trust and the newly established endowment, call 410-641-4467 or visit the website at www.lowershorelandtrust.org.