Over the years, the LSHG has provided technical, administrative and management services to partners. The organization also assists in the identification, submission, and implementation of various project grants. LSHG and partner organizations have obtained 141 grants for the area worth $13.7 million and a total capital project investment of over $26 million in support of heritage area projects. However, we do not grant make to other organizations.
LSHG is responsible for leading and securing the conservation easements. Todate we have preserved 760 acres of land including nine land acquisitions, eight trail easements and two long-term leases. The organization has helped to develop 23 miles of recreational trails and secured, created and developed 19 new public access sites. Efforts to secure public access to the 184-acre Garrett Island, where Captain John Smith first met the Susquehannock Indians have been led at a Federal level by LSHG in cooperation with the Conservation Fund. LSHG has also initiated the development of a concept recreation and conservation plan for this island.
LSHG has been responsible for researching, writing, and erecting over 60 interpretive signs throughout the area. Plus, the organization has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to secure, install and monitor an interpretive buoy as part of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.
LSHG’s signature environmental protection and education event, “River Sweep,” now in its 22nd year has removed over 125.5 tons of debris from local waterways. Thousands of people have participated in the day-long event at ten locations throughout the area.
Perhaps LSHG’s greatest accomplishment has been a legacy of planning for the future and establishing guidance for future land use decisions. LSHG’s advocacy efforts for the important resources within its boundaries have contributed to the National Park Service’s designation of areas of “high potential” investment along all three of the National Historic Trails that overlap with LSHG: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, and the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail.
Most recently, the LSHG completed a multi-jurisdictional planning effort with the National Park Service and the State of Pennsylvania to create a public access plan linking Harrisburg, PA to Havre de Grace, MD, the first water-based interstate trail plan developed between MD and PA.