On Monday, December 9th leaders throughout Southern Maryland gathered at Serenity Farms in Benedict, Maryland to discuss the unique habitats in the region. The forum was organized by the Alliance and sponsored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In total 37 individuals from non-profit, government, and for-profit organizations attended from Calvert, St Mary’s, and Charles Counties. The forum’s goal was to create a listening space where individuals throughout the region could find common ground to discuss issues, concerns, and barriers regarding the regions habitats.

Attendees gathered in a beautiful, rustic tobacco barn on Serenity Farms overlooking the Patuxent River. In staying true to the Alliance’s mission and vision, we began the day sharing and discussing pictures of meaningful habitats followed by an activity allowing individuals the opportunity to meet new faces in an inclusive environment. In the afternoon, individuals addressed issues and concerns faced within their individual organizations and localities, and strategies to help best address those barriers. Through these group discussions individuals were able to connect with others who may face the same issues within their organizations and gain a different perspective of threats other organizations may face. These issues were varied and included land use, water quality, environmental education, and resource consumption. 

Moving forward, the Alliance hopes to hold future habitat forums in Southern Maryland to expand upon the conversations and partnerships. We are extremely appreciative of all of the organizations and stakeholders who took part in the discussion and shared their experiences and perspectives. During the next forum we plan to go more in-depth in order to address issues, and devise solutions while engaging additional interested stakeholders.