Monday, September 29, 2008

Dorchester County Announces Public Workshops

The Dorchester County Office of Planning and Zoning will be hosting several public workshops to discuss the Water Resources Element of the Dorchester County Comprehensive Plan. Two workshops with the same content-will be held. Dates and locations for these workshops are as follows:

Cambridge: September 30,2008, at 6:00 pm, 501 Court Lane, Room 110, County Office Building

Vienna: October 2,2008, at 6:00 pm, 104 Race Street, Community Hall, (Old Fire Station)

The Water Resources Element is a new requirement, pursuant to the provisions of Maryland House Bill 1141 (2006).

As part of this element, the County must evaluate the following:

· the adequacy of its public water systems to serve projected growth;

· the impact of growth on aquifers (including residential and non-residential water demand in rural areas) and other drinking water sources; and

· the impact of growth on runoff ("nonpoint source" pollution) to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The County must also coordinate with its municipalities to characterize the adequacy of their public water and wastewater systems to accommodate growth.

Public input is an important component of the Dorchester County Comprehensive Plan, and specifically the Water Resources Element. The Water Resources Workshop will help to refine the County's understanding of existing water resources conditions and concerns, and will also help to shape the Comprehensive Plan's recommendations related to growth and development.

Please make plans to attend one of these workshops and make your voice heard. If you cannot attend the workshops but wish to comment on the Water Resources Element, or if you have questions or need more information, please contact the Office of Planning and Zoning at 410.228.3234 or via email at rbanks@docogonct.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

5th Annual Rural Heritage Day THIS Sunday!

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the University of Maryland, Wye Research and Education Center are partnering to bring Delmarva the 5th annual Rural Heritage Day, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Queen Anne's County 4-H Park near Centreville. The cost is $1 for adults and free for children 12 and under – parking is also free. Rural Heritage Day, a farm festival-style event, was created to generate awareness and gain support for Maryland’s Eastern Shore as a rural gem, as well as to celebrate its past, present and, hopefully, bright agricultural future.

Rural Heritage Day is a combination of interactive and educational exhibits; historical displays; children’s activities; demonstrations; show ring entertainment; farm animals; local food; music; a fine art show plus an Eastern Shore quilt exhibit featuring vintage and new quilt making styles.

This year’s educational exhibits, geared toward adults as well as children, will feature many local organizations as well as various programs and research projects of the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. A number of fun activities for kids include pumpkin painting, straw maze and corn pool, petting zoo, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s edible insect display, Maryland Grain Producers Growing with Grains and a number of other hands-on activities. Miniature pony, carriage and antique tractor rides will also be part of the day’s offerings.

“We are so excited to be able to once again partner with the University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center to once again bring this great event to residents of the Eastern Shore,” said Kristine George, ESLC’s Director of Communications. “What a great way to celebrate everything we love about our Eastern Shore’s rural heritage and this year’s event is chock full of fun and educational activities for the entire family to enjoy.”

Monday, September 15, 2008

ESLC Launches Kids Essay and Art Contests!

ESLC recently announced the launch of its first ever (and hopefully annual!) Kids Essay and Art Contest. Open to all students ages K-8 in Caroline, Cecil,Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties, we want to hear from you about what you love about the Eastern Shore, what makes it special and what place, people and traits should be protected and what you would like done in your community to make sure it remains a special place.

Please click here for more details and rules!

Friday, September 12, 2008

ESLC Seeks Nominations for 2008 Eastern Shore 2010 Awards!

It is that time of year again! ESLC is calling for nominations for this year’s Eastern Shore 2010 Achievement Awards. The 2008 Eastern Shore 2010 Achievement Awards, inspired by the regional land use planning agreement that sets the highest expectations for the care of the Eastern Shore landscape, distinguish outstanding leadership in the field of land use planning and land development on the Eastern Shore. The purpose of these awards is to honor the projects, people and places that best define growth befitting the Eastern Shore. This year's awards are focused on the Eastern Shore 2010’s Goal 4, “Develop a regional transportation plan by 2010 that provides alternatives to a new Bay crossing and emphasizes the use of alternative and public transportation within and among communities.”

Awards will be given out at ESLC’s annual conference “Where are the Eastern Shore’s Roads Taking Us?’ This year’s conference will focus on regional transportation issues and will pull together national, regional and local leaders to collaborate on potential solutions.

“We are so excited to celebrate the excellent work that is being done toward the Eastern Shore 2010 agreement’s goals,’ said Amy Owsley, ESLC’s Director of Land Use Planning. “Transportation is at a crossroads here on the Shore and we are looking forward to honoring those who are at the forefront of finding viable solutions for these important issues.”

Past Eastern Shore 2010 Achievement Awards winners include the Talbot County Planning Commission for their efforts to protect the important rural areas of Talbot County, Colchester Farm Community Supported Agriculture project for exemplifying how new models for farming can create a sustainable future for agriculture on the Shore and Governor Martin O’Malley for his position against a new auto oriented Bay Bridge that is solid move away from traditional failed policies to build our way out of congestion.

For the 2008 Eastern Shore 2010 Achievement Awards, ESLC is accepting nominations from all angles of land use planning including: climate change initiatives, citizen leadership, transportation, growth management related to redevelopment and infill and others that advance any or a combination of the updated goals outlined in Eastern Shore 2010.

The updated Eastern Shore 2010 agreement, signed last year by Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties calls for; reaching regional goals in land protection, strengthening the farming, fishing, and forestry industries, managing the amount and type of new development, and creating a regional transportation plan, by 2010.

The deadline for nominations is October 3. To submit a nomination, write a one-page letter summarizing the project or effort, how it advances growth consistent with the Eastern Shore and contact information for those responsible. An application form and more detailed award criteria for the awards can be accessed at

Send your nomination to Awards, c/o ESLC, 601 Locust Street, Suite 302, Cambridge, Maryland 21613, email them to, or fax to 410.901.9986. Winners will be honored at ESLC’s annual Land Use Planning Conference on Nov. 7 at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.