Protect Your Land
Why conserve land?
People, like Mr. C. D. Fleming, save land because they love it: “I watched woods grow up, each tree from a seed to maturity and then some inevitably aging as time took its toll. To me, they are family,” recalled Mr. Fleming. They preserve it to protect wildlife and to pass on to their grandchildren. Land has rich meaning beyond its economic value. And saving land provides a wealth of benefits to you, your family, and your community.
Conservation easements ensure the next generation will have the opportunity to grow and learn in nature.
Even in a rural community, residents struggle to access nature. Kids are especially vulnerable, spending less and less time outdoors. According to Children and Nature Network, kids spend 90% of their time inside.
However, time spent outdoors provides many health and academic benefits for both children and adults. Nature helps us heal faster, improves our mental health and cognitive abilities, and strengthens community and family bonds. While conservation easements are privately owned, VES Land Trust works with landowners to provide outdoor experiences for children and adults through field trips and events.
Natural lands are more resilient. They protect communities and give wildlife and natural systems a chance to adapt to the changes around them. Conservation easements protect natural lands.
Nature is Resilient
More frequent storms, coastal flooding, and rainfall significantly impact the health, safety, and economic viability of coastal communities. Natural spaces build community resilience against these events.
Healthy marsh habitat reduces wave action protecting uplands from erosion. And undeveloped uplands may allow the marsh to move back as the sea level rises. Undeveloped and properly managed lands absorb rainfall lowering the impacts of flash floods. And while buildings trap heat and warm the surrounding area, plants have a cooling effect.
By protecting and restoring our waters, conservation lands support the important aquaculture, fishery, and tourism industries on the Eastern Shore.
Our families depend on clean water for drinking, playing, and working. Natural lands decrease polluted runoff and replenish the water we drink. Conserved lands decrease development pressure and reduce hard surfaces that don’t allow water to seep into the ground. Conserved lands protect natural vegetation that prevents pollutants from entering the water.
Conservation easements protect important wildlife habitat.
Wildlife need large tracts of habitat to be successful. Without enough space to find food and shelter, some species like the Piping Plover, Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle are at risk of being lost forever. The Eastern Shore is internationally recognized for its importance to migratory birds who stop to rest and eat on their way South. Birds play an important role controlling insect populations and pollinating plants.
Traditional land uses like agriculture and forestry are compatible with conservation.
Easements can protect farms and forests from development while allowing landowners to take advantage of the economic benefits of farming and timbering. Farming and forestry operations on conserved land must follow best management practices and maintain buffers along the water.