New Conservation Partnership Holds Inaugural Meeting
Conservation resource and education network
Colora, MD – On Wednesday, January 18, the Cecil Land Trust welcomed representatives from over thirty county conservation and preservation organizations to West Nottingham Academy (WNA) in Colora for the first meeting of the Cecil Conservation Partnership. This new coalition of local organizations and state affiliates will form a coherent, proactive, and unified voice for conservation, preservation, and conservation education in Cecil County.
The evening was hosted by West Nottingham Academy, whose Head of School, Dr. Tom Banks, welcomed attendees. “The faculty, staff and students at West Nottingham Academy are thrilled to open our doors to the Cecil County community and to do all we can to be a contributing member of the Cecil Conservation Partnership,” stated Banks, who came to WNA in August 2016. “The education of our students about the health of our land and water to ensure their environmental literacy is a vital component of a progressive global education. The number of Cecil County organizations that have shown an interest in the Cecil Conservation Partnership is so exciting, and the students and all the members of the WNA community are happy to be included.”
Cecil Conservation Partnership plans to focus on protecting and sustaining healthy lands, clean waters, and the unique historical assets connected to the lands and waters of Cecil County through supporting member group activities and goals as well as educating the public and government officials concerning the necessity of conservation to promoting and sustaining healthy quality of life in Cecil County.
One of the organizers of the meeting, Rupert Rossetti, a member of both the Octoraro Watershed Association and the Cecil Land Use Association, asserted that he was “surprised and impressed by the number and variety of organizations who attended the meeting – all interested in some facet of conservation, sustainability and clean water at the local, State or Baywide level.” Rossetti went on to say that he is excited by the potential of the groups to work together in coming years when and where interests overlap and to “deepen our understanding of where those touch points and overlaps are.”
WNA’s student Green Team also took part in the event, welcoming guests and providing them with information about WNA and the Green Team’s sustainability initiatives. Green Team student member, Georgia Kelly stated that “it was great to see all these groups coming together for conservation. As a young person, I know conservation is so important our future. I want to get educated and do conservation work as my profession.”
Cecil Land Trust President and local farmer, Bill Kilby, expressed his enthusiasm for the Partnership. “Cecil Land Trust was happy to help organize this initiative,” stated Kilby who brought delicious samples of local foods produced on his protected farm to the gathering. “CLT and WNA have come together to host a wonderful gathering of conservation groups – groups that will work together to protect land and water and promote conservation education in Cecil County.”
At the meeting, facilitated by Dr. Virginia Kennedy, Director of Sustainability Programs and Curriculum at WNA and also a board member of Cecil Land Trust, participant groups decided to begin the establishment of the Partnership by connecting to each other via email and website.
“We are starting with small steps,” explains Kennedy, “to get started, we want to link the groups so that we can support each other’s work and initiatives and so that we can use each other as a Cecil County conservation resource and education network.”
The groups agreed to these initial steps and to meet again in the near future.