First Stop for the Bay Symposium by Carol Jelich

On Saturday, June 13, the Shore Land Stewardship Council, an initiative of the Arboretum, sponsored the “First Stop for the Bay” symposium at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. The Symposium introduced Critical Area property owners in Talbot, Caroline, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties to best landscaping practices, as well as provided tips for working with local planning departments toward a healthier Chesapeake Bay. Over eighty people were in attendance.

Morning speakers included Mary Owens of the Critical Area Commission who informed the audience about the Critical Area and how it is regulated; David Nemazie of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science who presented the science behind the Critical Area regulations; and Martin Sokolich, Talbot County Long Range Planner, who discuss how county planning departments can work with landowners to help protect the Chesapeake Bay. A panel of county staff from Caroline and Talbot counties formed a panel to answer individual questions, and attendees were eager to speak with them. During a mid-day break, attendees visited with Master Gardeners from Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties who hosted display tables that promoted Bay-Wise practices.

Each participant received a copy of the Shore Land Stewardship Council’s new book, The Green Book for the Bay: An Illustrated Guidebook for Critical Area Property Owners Living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

In the afternoon, participants selected from four workshops — building a living shoreline, presented by Environmental Concern; building a rain garden, presented by Environmental Concern; touring a Bay-Wise public garden, presented by Master Gardeners; and touring a Bay-Wise private garden, presented by Master Gardeners. There also was a reception and a native plant sale at the end of the day at Environmental Concern where Master Gardeners were on hand to answer questions about the rain garden and Bay-Wise certified garden on site.

Symposium sponsors include Adkins Arboretum, Shore Land Stewardship Council, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Critical Area Commission, Environmental Concern, and University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners of Talbot and Queen Anne’s. Funding for the symposium was provided by Town Creek Foundation.

It was a long day, but a worthwhile one, as participants left with Green Books in hand, ready to start their Bay-Wise landscaping.


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