The Howard County Conservancy is a local, non-profit environmental education center and land trust. The Conservancy was founded by a group of local citizens in 1990. Our mission is to educate children and adults about the natural world, preserve the land and its legacy and model responsible stewardship of the environment. The Conservancy provides environmental education programs at two locations – our home base at Mt. Pleasant Farm in Woodstock and at Howard County’s Belmont Manor and Historic Park in Elkridge.
- Environmental Education — The Conservancy has a county-wide partnership with the Howard County Public School System (since 2003) and provides environmental education field trips for over 8,500 students per year. The Conservancy also hosts groups for service learning, scout activities, summer camps and more.
- Environmental Programs — The Conservancy offers dozens of year-round educational programs for adults and children, hosts special events, provides numerous volunteer opportunities and educates Howard County residents about land conservation. During 2013, over 3,200 attended these events.
- Conservation Easements — The Conservancy protects open space and agricultural resources of Howard County by acquiring land through gift or through donated conservation easements. Currently, the Conservancy holds easements on 1,600 acres around the county including six historic homes.
- Trails and Gardens — The Conservancy maintains just over four miles of hiking trails at Mt Pleasant and many gardens including a native plant memorial garden and a community garden.
Please check the website for the latest information on activities www.hcconservancy.org
Volunteers are the backbone of the Howard County Conservancy. Hundreds of volunteers help every year. Below are some of the volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy. Please check the website also. http://www.hcconservancy.org/volunteer.html
- Hike Leaders — lead nature walks for kindergarten through twelfth grade students during fall and spring field trip seasons. We provide four training sessions, one morning a week in March and September. It is hoped volunteers would lead five nature walks a year (we appreciate more!). A love of nature and working with children is all that’s required – we teach you the rest!
- Drop-in Gardening and Habitat Restoration — opportunities include drop in gardening on Wednesday mornings (all levels of experience welcome!) and habitat restoration workgroups on Thursday afternoons and occasional Saturdays. Please call or check our website for a complete schedule.
- Office Volunteers/Greeters — Volunteers or “Greeters” help answer phones, greet visitors to the Gudelsky Center, and assist with other clerical duties.
- Event Volunteers — are needed to help with special events at the Conservancy. We need help to set-up, clean up, staff the welcome tables, assist with refreshments and all the other needs of a public event.