In partnership with the Town of Chestertown, the Sultana Education Foundation (SEF) announced that it has received a grant of $150,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Community Legacy Program for construction of the Harwood Nature Center at its Lawrence Wetlands Preserve in Chestertown. Support from DHCD will complement existing funding already committed by the National Park Service, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and multiple private foundations and individuals. Under development since 2018 and anticipated to open in 2024, the Lawrence Preserve is an 8.5-acre urban nature center that will join the replica schooner SULTANA and LEED Platinum Holt Education Center as key components of SEF’s Chestertown campus.
A bright and airy 1,200 square foot structure designed by Chestertown architect John Hutchison and Locust Grove Studios in Kennedyville, Maryland, the Harwood Nature Center will function as a classroom and refuge from the weather for the 3,000+ students who will visit the Lawrence Preserve annually. Emory Hill and Company of Newark, Delaware has been retained as general contractor for construction and groundbreaking is anticipated for spring 2023 with completion by November.
Based in Chestertown and serving the entire Chesapeake region, SEF provides hands-on educational opportunities for over 14,000 students annually that promote stewardship of the Bay’s historic, cultural, and environmental resources. By helping students of all ages develop an appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay, SEF is working to create a community of individuals who are dedicated to preserving this irreplaceable treasure.