Nutrition & Agriculture
Evergreen is dedicated to funding programs for our area’s youth that introduce nutrition strategies as a means of reducing childhood obesity. Working in partnership with the Western Maryland Health System, our Early Childhood Education programs encourage life-long healthy eating habits. Programs such as the Elementary Edibles have exceeded expectations, approximately 50% of students were willing to try new foods prior to the pilot, 100% were willing to try their vegetables and herbs, showing a 100% increases versus a target of 10%. View full results here.
As a farm that once grew acres upon acres of crops, we continue the tradition of growing produce and native plants. In partnership with the Mt Savage 4-H Club, local youth are mentored by our agricultural staff on our farm and assist in raising produce and running a seasonal farm stand in Mount Savage.
Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry
We promote sustainability by utilizing best practices in environmental conservation and providing demonstrations of those practices to children and adults on the Evergreen farm. Conservation efforts are facilitated through partnerships with the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources (DNR), Agriculture, and the Environment; the Maryland Forests Association; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; the Allegany County Forestry Board; the American Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy; the Allegany Soil Conservation District; the American Chestnut Foundation; USDA: the American Tree Farm System (ATFS); and other environmental organizations.
Evergreen contains 108 acres of forest that have been managed per Maryland forestry guidelines since 1949. In 1984, Evergreen adopted a Forest Conservation Management Agreement, and in 1986, it was named Tree Farm of the Year. In 2000, the EHC officially joined the Maryland DNR Forest Stewardship Program and began implementation of its first Forest Stewardship Plan.
In 2011 and 2012, the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation worked with the DNR to collect data for a new digitally‐based Forest Stewardship Plan, an effort also assisted by local forestry students. The result was Evergreen’s 2014 Forest Stewardship Plan, which also encompasses wildlife management. In addition to its work in forest management, Evergreen supports the Forestry for the Bay Initiative and in 2014, Evergreen was named a Chesapeake Forest Champion. Evergreen also is partnered with USDA to remove invasive plant and tree species from its property.
Soil and Water Conservation
Evergreen has also been a member of the Allegany Soil Conservation District since 1959 (supporting both soil and water conservation). In 1966, carrying forward this commitment to protect the environment, a 30’ by 70’ pond was built on the property to assist in fire prevention and water conservation. In 1992, a soil and water conservation plan was implemented to minimize soil erosion and control agricultural pollution. In 2013, Evergreen’s conservation work continued as it partnered with USDA to re‐engineer its beloved pond to minimize storm water runoff.