American Chestnut Land Trust
   Connecting people with the land

ACLT Overview

The American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) protects over 3,000 acres of wetlands, forest and farmland in rapidly developing Calvert County, Maryland.

The crown jewel of our land trust is Parkers Creek (shown below)—the Calvert Cliffs and sandy shoreline in the vicinity of the mouth of Parkers Creek look much the same today as they did 400 years ago when Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay. A visitor today can still paddle a canoe over a mile and a half through unspoiled salt marshes and wooded freshwater wetlands and see little sign of human activity.

Arial view of Parkers Creek. Photo by Alan Eckert.

Photo courtesy of Alan Eckert Photography

"Parkers Creek is an ecological singularity: a pristine coastal wilderness on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It is a highly complete estuary within itself, wherein a broad range of habitats lie in close association, functioning almost as a scale-model of the larger Chesapeake estuary."

~ Maryland Department of Natural Resources

"The Parkers Creek Watershed is one of the most ecologically valuable sub-estuaries in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the least disturbed on Maryland's western shore."

~ Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The land trust also protects land in the smaller nearby Governors Run Watershed which contains mature hardwood forest and plants species more commonly found in the mountains and Piedmont than on the Coastal Plain.

ACLT Forest Scene. Photo by David Farr.

"Large tracts of older forest such as this are uncommon in the region, due to the clearing of forests for timber management, agriculture, and residential and commercial development. Old maps show that this site was one of the largest forested sites in the area in the mid-1800s, when most of coastal Calvert County had been cleared for agriculture, especially tobacco farming."

~ Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources

Read more about our land preservation and land management programs; learn more about the plants, wildlife and historic sites that we protect in the natural resources and cultural resources sections of our website.

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The American Chestnut Land Trust is a Member of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network