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The Manor Conservancy


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  • 14 Feb 2020 9:31 AM | Anonymous

    Here is the text of the letter we sent to Harford County and Baltimore County state representatives concerning HB1362, a bill that would remove the requirement that 50% of the tax on real estate transactions in Harford County be spend on land preservation and 50% be spend on schools.

    Please oppose HB1362. The bill would change how the proceeds of the transfer tax are distributed. Instead of 50% being dedicated to the county’s agricultural land preservation program and 50% dedicated to fund school site acquisition, Harford County Council would determine how to spend the money.

    Through its Rural Legacy program, the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, and the Maryland Environmental Trust, the state has demonstrated its commitment to land preservation and agriculture to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Harford County has one of the most successful county preservation programs in the state; it acts as a complement and supplement to state programs. Without Harford County’s ag program, fresh local food, clean drinking water, and greenspace will be threatened. Its strong agricultural economy will be weakened.

    Land preservation benefits the entire community. Preserved land means money that would have been spent on governmental services – like roads and schools – can be spent in higher-density areas. It is tempting but short-sighted to spend that money on other things. We have a saying in the land preservation community; “When a developer loses out on a project, she can move on to find another one. But when land that should be preserved is instead developed, it’s lost forever.”

    Please vote against HB1362.

  • 04 Sep 2019 3:23 PM | Anonymous

    Fall webworm caterpillars are busy feeding. Their damage is mostly cosmetic, especially on mature trees. No need to spray unless the affected tree is young and in danger of being completely defoliated. Pruning is also not necessary though you may twirl a stick in the webbing to open the nest up and expose the caterpillars to predators.

  • 26 Jun 2019 4:14 PM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to announce that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources awarded us a grant to restore a part of Carroll Branch. Grants are funded through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, the Coastal Resiliency Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We'll be working with our friends at Ecotone, Inc. on this project, which will help protect The Chesapeake Bay and increase climate resilience.

    For a full list of the projects that were funded and a map that shows their locations around Maryland, click here.

  • 04 Jun 2019 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    What is community solar? The Maryland Public Service Commission established regulations so that companies can build large solar installations to which members of the public can subscribe, purchasing a share of the electricity produced by the installation. Subscribers receive a credit on their BGE bill if the solar installation produces electricity. This program allows access to solar-generated electricity credits for renters or homeowners who are unable to install rooftop or ground-mounted solar.

    Agricultural land is cheap and already cleared, so as soon as Baltimore County Council passed a bill permitting large solar installations by special exception, many companies submitted applications to erect community solar installations. A few weeks ago, the Board of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of an installation at 1139 Monkton Road, the first of more than a dozen proposed projects in Councilmanic District 3 to receive a favorable decision.

    Unless the decision is appealed, the project will move forward and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2019. The Manor Conservancy supports generating electricity through solar panels installed on brownfields, rooftops, and over parking lots. Prime and productive agricultural soils should be used to grow crops, not covered with solar panels. But it appears imminent that the first of many acres of agricultural land in District 3 will be covered with solar panels.

    We have worked with many community groups to inform the public and the administrative law judge, who issues decisions about special exceptions, about the drawbacks and pitfalls of large solar installations on agricultural land. Several projects were reduced in size, and modifications were made to fencing and landscaping to reduce the visibility of the projects. Up to ten of these projects may be built in any one councilmanic district. We hope that if and when these projects are built, they can provide solar-generated electricity to the community at reduced rates as advertised, and we will continue working to encourage acceptable alternatives to solar on prime and productive soils.

  • 02 May 2019 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    Our Calcutta was held, as always, the night before the My Lady's Manor Steeplechase Races. As our only fundraiser of the year, The Calcutta's profits, along with dues and donations, are critical to allowing The Manor Conservancy to preserve land, clean air and water. Please click here for photos of the event.

  • 14 Mar 2019 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    A new study out of Denmark has just found that growing up near green space can reduce one's risk of mental illness by up to 55 percent. Furthermore, according to the study, "the effect of green space was 'dosage dependent' — the more of one's childhood spent close to greenery, the lower the risk of mental health problems in adulthood."
    Preserving land ensures children not yet born will have greenery to enjoy. Yes, it's true - land preservation makes the world a saner place!

    Click here for a link to the full article.

  • 08 Nov 2018 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    More than 50 members and friends turned out October 18 to elect the Board of Directors, enjoy refreshments, and hear our member, Dr. William Hilgartner, talk about fossil seeds found in streambeds and how they are used to determine what the landscape may have looked like hundreds or thousands of years ago. We also remembered Gloria Cameron, our vice-president who passed away recently, and recognized her contributions to land preservation. Gloria received The Manor Conservancy's Sergeant Murphy Land Preservation award earlier this year.

    from left: President Henry Pitts, Dr. William Hilgartner, Marilyn Hilgartner

    Board member Patrick Smith, Colin Jones, and Analeigh Smith enjoy a night out with The Manor Conservancy.

  • 23 Aug 2018 12:48 PM | Anonymous

    Environmental resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from disturbances caused by climate change. We may not be close enough to the ocean to experience the effects of an increase in sea level but many of our streams do experience regular flooding as a result of heavy rains.  

    Extreme weather events affect not just our land but also our health. Hotter weather and extended heat waves increase the risk of heat stroke and dehydration. Earlier springs mean longer pollen seasons while wet weather can increase mold levels, both of which increase suffering in people who have allergies. Air pollution gets worse with higher temperatures and can contribute to respiratory problems. Then there are vector-borne diseases like Lyme, West Nile, and Zika, which may increase as higher temperatures and increased precipitation increase the population and range of ticks and mosquitoes.

    Land protection is one strategy for ensuring that natural systems thrive, by reducing fragmentation and conserving carbon-storing forests and wetlands that temper flood damage. An especially important component of land preservation in northern Baltimore and Harford counties is the requirement for stream buffers, especially forested stream buffers. Stream buffers provide food, shelter, and travel corridors for wildlife on land and in the water. They filter excess nutrients from surface runoff. When they’re forested, stream buffers provide woody debris, an organic carbon source that helps microbes remove nitrates from the water, capture air-borne pollutants, and sequester carbon. You might say that riparian buffers are the kidneys of stream ecosystems, while forested buffers are the lungs.

    Nearly all the easements The Manor Conservancy accept require hundred-foot stream buffers. We are preserving not just land, but health, habitat, and the environment.

  • 17 Jul 2018 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    We have lost a dear friend and Board member. Gloria Cameron, our vice-president and a driving force behind The Manor Conservancy, died July 2 after a long struggle with cancer.  As a long-time resident of Monkton, Gloria was deeply involved in preserving the rural character and traditions of the area.  No task was too large or too small; from preparing tax returns to stuffing envelopes to submitting grant proposals, Gloria relentlessly moved our organization forward. 

    A project she was particularly interested in was the restoration of Fugate House, a stone structure in the heart of My Lady's Manor. Erected on Josiah Sparks's land (now Shepperd Road) before the Civil War, Fugate House had been rumored, but never proved, to have housed slaves. As part of Baltimore County's African-American history, the saga of Fugate House fascinated Gloria. The Manor Conservancy commissioned an investigation into Fugate's history and created plans to restore the structure. For more information about Fugate, click here. If you'd like to donate to this project in honor of and in memory of Gloria, please click here

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Gloria's husband, Steve, and her children, Ellen and Evan.

  • 19 Apr 2018 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    Our Calcutta on April 13th was our biggest yet with over 130 attendees. The weather was perfect, the betting was spirited, and a good time was had by all.

             We forgot to mention on our invitation that socks were optional.

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