Scenic Rivers Land Trust Celebrates 14th Walk for the Woods

Scenic Rivers Land Trust Celebrates 14th Walk for the Woods

WalkforWoods 2019 Fisher Knebel Pittman

Annual day of guided hikes at the Bacon Ridge Natural Area attracts hundreds of area hikers; promotes exploring the outdoors and the value of land protection

Scenic Rivers Land Trust, in partnership with Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks, celebrated the 14th Walk for the Woods at the Bacon Ridge Natural Area in Crownsville on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The annual event promotes families exploring the outdoors and public access to the Bacon Ridge Natural Area, the county-owned property that is permanently protected from development by a conservation easement co-held by Scenic Rivers and Maryland Environmental Trust.

Over 300 participants, including families, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, turned out to explore the 900+ acre natural area on a variety of guided hikes, including bird watching, amphibian searches, archaeology, and naturalist hikes. Attendees also were encouraged to explore the 5+ miles of temporary trails on their own.

“Bacon Ridge is truly a hidden gem in Anne Arundel County,” said Nina Fisher, president of Scenic Rivers’ Board of Directors. “It is a perfect example of the power and the value of protecting our natural and scenic lands. Our goal with Walk for the Woods is to increase access to and awareness of this precious resource in our own backyards.”

County Executive Steuart Pittman attended the event to participate in the “Say My Name” remembrance ceremony, which is held annually in conjunction with the Walk for the Woods to honor the African-American patients interred in the Crownsville State Hospital Cemetery with only numbers to mark their graves. Before the remembrance ceremony, Pittman presented Scenic Rivers Land Trust with an executive citation in celebration of the nonprofit’s contributions to the County’s ecological health and in honor of the organization’s 30th anniversary.

Several educational programs were held throughout the day, including an artifacts display by the Department of Planning and Zoning’s Cultural Resources Division; the popular with children “Feet, Tails, and Fins” aquatic wildlife program presented by experts from Coastal Resources, Inc.; and the “Say My Name” remembrance ceremony conducted by local historian Janice Hayes-Williams and attended by both Pittman and County Councilmember Lisa Rodvien.

“Seeing so many members of our community, as well as County leadership, enjoying and engaging with our natural resources is encouraging,” said Scenic Rivers’ executive director, Rick Leader. “This year, Scenic Rivers is celebrating 30 years of protecting land and water in Anne Arundel County and this event is an urgent reminder of why we need to move quickly to permanently protect more of our natural resources before it’s too late.”
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30 Days for 30 Years: Protecting Land and Water in Anne Arundel County

30 Days for 30 Years:  Protecting Land and Water in Anne Arundel County

This year, Scenic Rivers Land Trust is celebrating 30 years of protecting land and water in Anne Arundel County. Since our first easement in 1989, Scenic Rivers has used land conservation easements to protect special places from development and provide tax incentives to property owners.

To date, we hold 66 conservation easements across the county, totaling nearly 2,900 acres—or about one percent of county land. Our goal is to double that amount. The fact is, when it comes to land conservation in our county, time is of the essence.

To kick off our 30th year celebration, we’re using the 30 days of the month of April (Earth Month!) to share 30 fun facts about Scenic Rivers’ work and the Bacon Ridge Natural Area, the largest property in our conservation portfolio and the host site for our Annual Walk for the Woods, via our social media channels. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to join in the fun. Plus, we’re even launching an Instagram account to get in the spirit of being 30!

And while we plan to celebrate this milestone all year (keep an eye out for details on a party planned for later in the year), our 30 Days for 30 Years celebration in April will culminate with our Annual Walk for the Woods on Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 7 am to 3 pm at the beautiful Bacon Ridge Natural Area (Farm Road, Crownsville, MD).

Join us online all month and then join us outdoors on the 27th!

Easement Protects Anne Arundel County Forested Land

Easement Protects Anne Arundel County Forested Land

March 25, 2019

Partners Preserve Scenic Land on Little Patuxent

Maryland Environmental Trust and Scenic Rivers Land Trust have permanently protected 111 acres of forestland, wetlands and meadow along the Little Patuxent River from development. Owner Linda Egolf granted a conservation easement on the property, which has been in her family for more than 100 years, forever protecting this ecologically important habitat.

“We are pleased to have worked with our partners to protect this property” said Maryland Environmental Trust Director Bill Leahy. “It is a privilege to assist this landowner in her goal of protecting her family lands.

Funding for the conservation easement was provided by the Anne Arundel County Forestry and Forested Land Protection Grant Program, a grant program administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust with funds from Anne Arundel County’s fee-in-lieu funds generated from Maryland’s Forest Conservation Act.   

“Protecting our ecologically valuable lands is vital to protecting our waterways and quality of life in Anne Arundel County,” Scenic Rivers Executive Director Rick Leader said. “With this grant program, the county is a leader in the state of Maryland, demonstrating how to effectively and efficiently preserve green spaces for the benefit of county residents, landowners and our environment.”


Updated Perspective About the Crownsville Hospital Property


Updated Perspective About the Crownsville Hospital Property

It's been a year since we released our perspective concerning the Crownsville Hospital Property. Since then, the county has a new executive with new ideas for the property. We thought it was time to update how we are thinking about this important piece of our community.

Click here to read the document



Our view: Trail Building and Public Access in Bacon Ridge

Our View: Trail Building and Public Access in Bacon Ridge

As many of you may have seen in a recent Capital article, a small group has tried to inject politics into public access to Bacon Ridge Natural Area. It is important that this unfortunate effort in no way dishonors the hundreds of hours of volunteer work expended by county residents in building the public hiker/biker trails. These trails are enjoyed by hundreds of bikers, runners and hikers. Current issues aside, Scenic Rivers Land Trust (SRLT) fully supports the continued volunteer effort for responsibly extending the trails.

I, for one, spent several Sundays helping to build the Bacon Ridge trails during the first two phases. I also regularly enjoy running the trails. I know that both County Executive Steve Schuh and Steuart Pittman support the volunteers and champion more public access. Both recognize that the county has a moral and legal obligation to both serve its citizens and protect our public spaces, history, and natural resources. 

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) and SRLT – the two co-holders of the Bacon Ridge conservation easement - have approved every request by the county to allow trail building. Those approvals came with modest conditions. SRLT was informed by the county that the start of Phase 3 had potential violations of these conditions, and the county was going to pause the volunteer effort until the problems were remedied. Unlike a park, Bacon Ridge is designated as a Natural Area, meaning that additional protections are in place to safeguard its natural resources. Legally, SRLT and MET are obligated to advise the county so that it can stay in compliance with the conservation easement that protects the valuable cultural and natural resources of this beautiful Natural Area.  

We look forward to additional trails in the near future and fully support the effort to construct these trails under the careful guidance of the County’s Department of Recreation and Parks. We well recognize the increased quality of life that access to Bacon Ridge brings to our community. For those interested in more detail, I have attached a brief article.

Nina Fisher
Scenic Rivers Land Trust