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Towne Salute: Lawrence Maloney

Aug 01, 2018 12:00AM

By Cate Reynolds

Lawrence Maloney, only two weeks into retirement, found himself itching for activity. After a long career working as a sales manager for Fox News, Maloney’s love for the outdoors inspired him to make the 50-mile move from Bethesda to Kent Island, where he hoped to spend time volunteering outdoors. 

While driving down Route 50 one afternoon, the 75-year-old Maloney spotted a sign on the side of the road for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) and became curious enough to pull in. He signed up as a volunteer that same day.  

“The sign said ‘Turn right’ so, I turned right,” says Maloney, who lives in the Queen’s Landing community of Kent Island. “That was nine years ago, and I’ve been there ever since.” 

Located on preserved land in Grasonville, CBEC works to promote stewardship and sustainability through environmental education and habitat restoration. Native woodlands, tidal marshes, meadows, and several walking trails make up the
510-acre wildlife preserve.

CBEC offers various hands-on educational programs for both children and adults, which allow participants to explore, learn, and discover the importance of Bay stewardship.

“You can feel [visitors’] enthusiasm for what they’re seeing and learning,” Maloney explains. “The gratitude we receive from visitors makes us feel like we’re really accomplishing something.” 

Maloney primarily assists with property management—which includes habitat restoration, trail accessibility, and road accessibility—but is always eager to jump in where needed, including getting involved in fundraising events, educational programs, and even the occasional office admin help. Maloney volunteers every day, contributing at least 1,500 hours a year. 

“Without Larry, our property and organization would not be able to be sustained at the level of integrity at which we currently operate,” CBEC’s Volunteer and Adult Education Coordinator Courtney Leigh says. “He is always ready to do the job that no one else cares to do.”

"The gratitude we receive from visitors makes us feel like we’re really accomplishing something.”

The desire to participate in something that helps the environment in a small way is what inspired Maloney to become involved with the organization, but the gratification of being able to do something positive is what has kept him involved all these years.

According to Maloney, CBEC is the reason he gets out of bed each morning. Even after spending nine years on the property, Maloney is still inspired by the organization’s work and the beauty of the property.

“Just walking around the property is fun,” Maloney says. “There’s a lot going on, and you never know what you’re going to see.” 

Though CBEC’s property is large, its location is tucked away down a long drive, making
it secluded, Maloney’s hope is that others like himself will be curious enough to “turn right” and explore all CBEC has to offer. 

“Not enough people know it’s there, and when they discover it it’s a big ‘wow’ moment,” Maloney says. “When you see what’s there, it’s truly eye opening.”

For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center visit Bayrestoration.org