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ESLC Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Party to Preserve Event

Aug 10, 2015 01:19PM ● By Cate Reynolds
EASTON – The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), celebrating its 25th anniversary, will hold their annual gala, Party to Preserve, at Duvall Farm in Talbot County on Saturday, October 10th from 4 – 7pm. Tickets for the event are $125 per person and available for purchase on the organization’s website at

Duvall Farm is owned by ESLC advisory board member John E. “Chip” and Sally Akridge. The couple’s farm totals more than 500 acres and has become a refuge for wildlife. Prior to their purchase more than 10 years ago, the property had been slated for residential development.

For his wildlife restoration efforts at Duvall, which have helped to create a home for dozens of bird species and other local wildlife that includes butterflies, crustaceans, wild turkeys, beaver, freshwater fish, and bald eagles, Akridge was awarded the 2014 Chesapeake Champion award from UMCES’ Horn Point Laboratory.

Guests of Party to Preserve will be treated to a variety of locally sourced and inspired cuisine, prepared by 10 local chefs and to include an oyster bar featuring Chesapeake Gold, Barren Island Oysters, and two varieties of wild caught oysters. Eastern Shore bluegrass favorites New and Used Bluegrass will provide the musical backdrop to this special anniversary event.

In addition to music and fare, the approximate 275 guests can enjoy a 30 minute guided tour of the restored wildlife habitat aboard vintage pickup trucks.

Rather than the typical silent auction that goes hand-in-hand with such fundraising events, ESLC will introduce an educational and interactive component, Shore Talks – various educational workshops with topics that fit within ESLC’s primary focal areas of Land, Towns, and People.

One such Shore Talk session is “Banding Songbirds” at Chester River Research Station in Chestertown, where participants can dive in and assist in the tagging, weighing, and tracking of migratory travels of songbirds with Lead Naturalist Jim Gruber. More than a dozen other choices will be available for purchase, ranging in price from $35 to $100.

Shore Talks sessions will be available for purchase to the public (whether attending the event or not) online, beginning in September at

Corporate sponsors for the event include Annapolis/Gateway Subaru, T at the General Store, Willow Construction, Brown Advisory, DLA Piper, The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley, and many other generous, local businesses.

Party to Preserve is the perfect opportunity to celebrate with our friends in a spectacular setting,” says ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “25 years ago, we started ESLC with a desk and a phone in a 9 x 12 University of Maryland research farm office converted from what was previously a horse barn on the banks of the Wye River. Today, we celebrate more than 57,000 acres of preserved Eastern Shore farms and forests, as well as our recent renovation and move into the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (ESCC).”

For tickets, visit  For sponsorship opportunities, contact Carin Starr at 410-827-9756, ext. 171, or