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Can The Farmland In Southern Maryland Be Saved?

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Nancy Wolfe founded the Wicomico Valley Foundation of Southern Maryland.
Jonathan Wilson/WAMU
Nancy Wolfe founded the Wicomico Valley Foundation of Southern Maryland.

There are two Wicomico Rivers in Maryland: one on the Eastern Shore, and one on the western shore. And it’s the latter river, the one that reaches into St. Mary’s County Maryland off of the Potomac River, where Nancy Wolfe has spent just about all of her life.

Wolfe says she knows that gradual change is inevitable for southern Maryland and she wants to do her part to make sure some of the open spaces she grew up with stay open.

Her family used to own farmland in Clinton, Maryland, but now that land is on the verge of being developed as the D.C. suburbs continue to expand — a sight that she says will break her heart.

It’s why she’s taking the 1600 acres her family left her in Southern Maryland, and turning it over to the newly created Wicomico Valley Foundation of Southern Maryland, a foundation she started less than a year ago.

The genesis of her new foundation:

“I already had the land. My brother and I, neither one of us had children. I had to decide what’s gonna happen with this land that I had grown so very attached to — my being the sentimental one, you know. That’s when I got the idea for the foundation, so that I would feel that it’s protected… that I know it’s not going to be a housing development.”

Her hopes for the future of the land:

“We're hoping that we may even partner with the University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied Agriculture for educational purposes. And to give people in general the opportunity to come out and enjoy nature and wildlife and an open space that doesn’t have something else – a house – 200 feet away. Even that’s a generous amount for some subdivisions.”

Music: "Farmland" by Omaha Guitar Trio from OGT


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