Since our creation in 1992, the LSHG has become one of Maryland’s leading conservation organizations. Our focus is on the Upper Bay region where we work with both the public and private sector to advocate for the protection and restoration of the area’s natural resource and cultural heritage as well as the creation of a land and water recreational trail system.
The trails are the physical linkage that unites the waterfront communities in Harford and Cecil County, Maryland. They represent the historical connection and the economic leverage created by working together to create a regional identity and tourist destination.
We support heritage tourism, conservation and recreational efforts that promote the local economy, create jobs and build stronger communities. We teach the important stories from the past to provide a sense of identity and vision for the future.
What we don’t do:
The LSHG specializes in regional and national planning efforts. We bring parties to the table with common interests and facilitate solutions. We are funded through grants and private donations. We are governed by a Board of Directors and currently have three staff members.
The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, Inc is a non-profit 501c-3 organization whose mission is to provide leadership, technical assistance, and advocacy to guide land use decisions that enhance our quality of life by supporting expanded recreation and economic opportunities, and to promote a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
Our goal is to stimulate local economic activity by developing a linkage between the region’s natural, historic, and cultural resources. This linkage is created in a series of land and water recreational trails that weave together the past and future of the region while promoting an understanding and appreciation of the region’s character. The LSHG manages a designated Maryland State Heritage Area, Maryland State Scenic byway and 3 National historic trails, Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail, the Star-Spangled Banner trail and the Washington-Rochambeau trail.
The concept of the LSHG was initiated in 1992 by a group of local, state, and business partners with the goal of linking three communities by way of a trail network.
The plan was developed as a catalyst for public-private investment and aimed to help create a healthy business economy for entrepreneurs while expanding recreational opportunities.
With the passage of HB1 in 1995, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority was formed, and the LSHG was incorporated to qualify for designation as a Maryland Heritage Area. The Heritage Area became a “Recognized Heritage Area” in 1997 and it became a “Certified Heritage Area” (CHA) in 2001.
The area encompasses nearly 45,000 acres in Cecil and Harford Counties, extending approximately 12 miles from just north of the Conowingo Dam to the head of the Chesapeake Bay along both sides of the Susquehanna River. The Heritage Area includes over 8,400 acres of water surface on the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay, and nearly 58 miles of mostly undeveloped shoreline (much of which is in state or Exelon ownership). It also includes several major stream corridors (e.g., Octoraro Creek, Conowingo Creek, and Deer Creek).
As part of its mission the LSHG aims to:
Key partners of the LSHG include small and large businesses and landowners, Harford and Cecil Counties, the Towns of Port Deposit and Perryville, the City of Havre de Grace, and Susquehanna State Park. Other important partners include the village of Darlington, local museums, and civic and business organizations.
Our program goals are:
Lastly, but most importantly, we strive to improve the economic condition and quality of life for those who live on the most treasured of our nations natural resources, the Chesapeake Bay.