Public meetings will be held on July 26th, 27th, and August 4th in Denton, Cambridge and Easton, Maryland to review the draft corridor management plan for Michener’s Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway. The Michener’s Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway highlights the picturesque waterways, historic waterfront and inland villages, agricultural operations and wide natural expanses found along a series of scenic and historic travel routes in Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Dorchester and Caroline counties.
The Byway is a proposed extension of the existing Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway located in Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties through the Mid-Shore region of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Byway generally follows MD 213 from Centreville to Wye Mills; MD 662 to Easton (with branches to St. Michaels and Oxford); MD 333, 565 and 50 to Cambridge; various routes through the Blackwater NWR to Bestpitch and Vienna; MD 313 to Federalsburg and Denton; and, MD 328 back to Easton.
The purpose of the plan is to help the four counties and their agency partners (Maryland Office of Tourism Development, Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority) to protect and promote the rich natural and cultural resources found along the route and to implement strategies for sustainable tourism development based on that heritage.
Please join us at one of three public meetings to discuss the plan. Each meeting will cover the same content and will include:
• A presentation of the draft Management Plan followed by an opportunity to ask questions or discuss the plan’s recommendations
• Discuss management and funding strategies
• Discuss the potential for extending the existing Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway designation (that ends in Centreville, MD) to Vienna, Maryland as part of the Federal Highway Administration’s “America’s Byways” Program.
The plan, along with other background information on the planning process, can be viewed at the project web site: http://www.lardnerklein.com/mcsb_index.html. A hard copy of the plan can also be found at each of the County tourism offices. Comments and suggestions regarding the plan can also be submitted for an additional 30 days after the public meetings until September 6, 2011.
MEETING TIMES AND LOCATIONS:
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 7 – 9 pm
Talbot Community Center
10028 Ocean Gateway,
Easton, MD 21601
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 4 – 6 pm
Museum of Rural Life, Denton MD
16 North Second Street
Denton, MD 21629
Thursday, August 4, 2011 4 – 6 pm
Dorchester County Public Library
303 Gay St.
Cambridge, MD 21613
A byway management plan is required by FHWA to apply for designation through the America’s Byways program. The byway management plan is being prepared with funding from the US Department of Transportation. The project is being administered by Talbot County’s Office of Tourism and their local government partners in the four counties and their state agency partners.
According to FHWA, the byway management plan is a written document in which the sponsor describes the goals, strategies and responsibilities for conserving and enhancing a byway’s most valuable qualities. It is developed collaboratively with all those who have an interest in the future of an area included in the byway corridor. It includes both a long-term vision for what the byway may become over time as well as a short-term action plan.
The plan is being prepared by a team of planning, engineering, landscape architecture and historic preservation experts led by Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects, P.C. of Alexandria, Virginia.
An advisory committee has been working with the planning team and meeting bi-monthly to assist in the development of the management strategies for the byway. The committee represents the many different viewpoints of individuals with an interest in the route: people who live or work along the route, those that are responsible for its management, and those with extensive knowledge of the history of the area.
The meeting will include a presentation by planning team leader, Jim Klein of Alexandria, Virginia, a nationally recognized expert in managing scenic byways and heritage touring routes. Mr. Klein will discuss the management strategies developed with the Advisory Committee that will help to maintain and enhance the special qualities of the area and help to interpret the rich history of Michener’s Chesapeake Country in the Mid-shore region.
Public input is an important criterion in determining whether or not the byway route will qualify to join the group of one hundred and fifty of “America’s Byways” in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Scenic Byway Program. Public input is needed to make sure that the plan accurately reflects the wishes of the communities through which the byway passes.
The FHWA “America’s Byways” designation provides additional opportunities for heritage-based tourism development including additional funding opportunities for preservation and enhancement projects. Maryland has six byways designated under the program. Two are designated as All-American Roads: the Maryland Historic National Road following Maryland 144 and US 40 from Baltimore to Garrett County; and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway roughly following MD 16 in Dorchester and Caroline Counties and through to Delaware. Maryland has four National Scenic byways: Chesapeake Country following Maryland 18 and 213 through Kent, Queen Anne’s and Cecil counties; Charles Street in Baltimore City and Baltimore County; the Journey Through Hallowed Ground along U.S. 15 in Frederick County (continuing northward to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and southward to Charlottesville, Virginia); and the Religious Freedom Byway in St. Mary’s and Charles counties.