Southern Calvert Land Trust (SCLT) is a not-for-profit corporation working with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) to build a healthy community for generations to come by conserving habitat for wildlife, securing water quality, and preserving and protecting open space in our community. The SCTL currently manages an impressive 160 properties and looking to add more.  And why not? This is a sound and viable proposition for would-be donors.

The SCLT’s formula is a simple win-win proposition with would-be donors of unwanted or unbuildable properties: “Donors receive a federal tax deduction {as long as the property is current on its taxes and other applicable dues} on a property that for all practical purposes is useless and can take advantage of federal income tax deduction” stated, SCLT Board member Bruce Fall. “A conservation easement is placed on each donated lot, preserving the natural environment and prohibiting future development.  This means sustainability and protecting our environment for generations to come,” followed Curt Larsen, President of SCLT.

The SCLT Board of Directors, volunteers, and friends celebrated its 21 years—a worthy celebration of success and planning.

Mr. Curt Larsen’s powerful opening remarks were forward-thinking.  “The organization seeks to expand its capabilities by building its membership base and Board of Directors. Our funding and support are derived solely through memberships and donations. The SCLT seeks volunteer professional support in areas of legal and land management expertise. And needs ground support with volunteers to oversee conserved properties.”

Ted Haynie spoke during the celebration. “We live in a special place,” remarked Ted Haynie, president of the Friends of Mill Creek, a local watershed stewardship organization of residents, watermen, business owners, and developers. Our group strives to honor the rich history of our watershed region and provide stewardship to maintain a fishable, swimmable marine ecosystem.

Greg Bowen, with the American Chestnut Land Trust, also spoke at the event. He highlighted Conservancy’s Resilient Land Mapping Tool, which shows that Calvert County ranks as one of the most resilient ecosystems on our country’s eastern seaboard, with sustained biodiversity and proactive ecological functions in the face of changing climate. Bowen also reported on a proposal by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create a new wildlife refuge in southern Maryland. “The abundant biodiversity and habitat connectedness of our region is now the focus of an exciting opportunity to amplify the scale of land protection in Southern Maryland,” stated Bowen.  

Geologist/historian Ralph Eshelman spoke about the “big wins” that conservation has achieved in the State over the past few decades, such as the SCLT.   Eshelman’s passion and love for Calvert County resonated with all in attendance.

The SCLT and land donors/potential land donors ought to be honored for making a measurable and sustainable difference in Calvert County. We all win because of their work.

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