News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
New Nonprofit Created to Advance Land Conservation
Forever Maryland Foundation and Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, jointly announce the launch of a new statewide venture in land conservation. Forever Maryland has been created to undertake a bold agenda to meet the need for a nongovernmental organization with a Maryland-specific focus on land conservation.
Forever Maryland will work closely with the 40 local land trusts in Maryland and state and federal government agencies to find new ways for people to better connect with Maryland’s beautiful landscapes, scenic vistas, farmlands, and natural resources.
“While there are a number of entities engaged in a variety of roles involving land conservation in the region, Forever Maryland is the first and only nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to land conservation issues and opportunities in all of Maryland,” Forever Maryland Board Chair Steve Quarles said.
“Supporting existing land trusts in the work they are accomplishing in local communities is an important part of what we will be doing,” Forever Maryland board member Nick Dilks said. “Working together, we will develop creative ways for landowners to preserve and protect more acres throughout the state.”
Quarles said Forever Maryland is helping volunteers in Frederick and the Catoctin area to work together as a regional alliance with an online presence. The foundation will also manage MET’s Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program and host the 2020 statewide Annual Land Conservation Conference.
“I’m very excited that after years of planning Forever Maryland is a reality,” Maryland Environmental Trust Chair Mary Burke said. “Land is critical to clean air and water, and it provides us with food and places to play and reflect. Forever Maryland will be key to future generations enjoying what makes Maryland such a special place to live.”
Forever Maryland Board member James O’Connell of Walkersville said the foundation will also “provide a clear voice on behalf of the Maryland land conservation community on matters of executive and legislative policy.”
More information about the Forever Maryland Foundation is available at www.forevermaryland.org.