Even though we live in such a small state, us Marylanders are lucky to have so many beautiful natural and historic places to call our own! Seriously, there are so many of them -- but it's important to not take them for granted, or we may not have as many of them in the future. In fact, there are two specific places in Maryland that made their way onto the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List.
Historic Annapolis Waterfront
If you've ever been to the Annapolis waterfront, you've probably walked away feeling totally charmed. After all, it's a colonial town that's been around since the 1600's! While there has definitely been some progress in Annapolis since then (electricity, running water, wi-fi, all of that good stuff), the preservation of the old buildings and the views of the water has kept the town a Maryland gem and a major tourist destination for years and years.
But rezoning in Annapolis could change that. Construction on its planned scale could disrupt the town's historic beauty and affect the tourism industry forever. And more building could create environmental challenges that we may not be prepared to deal with, resulting in the possible destruction of such a beautiful city.
Mount Vernon Historic Viewshed
George Washington's historic home, Mount Vernon, is completely picturesque -- and that's in no small part thanks to the gorgeous views of the Potomac River and the wild beauty of Charles County, MD, just across the way. If you've ever been there, you probably took a million pictures (the whole landscape is pretty Insta-worthy!). And like the Annapolis waterfront, it's an enormous tourist draw.
But this, too, is in danger. An energy company plans to build a natural gas compressor directly across the river from Mount Vernon, which would affect the lovely, unspoiled view of nature that Washington himself loved so much. And in the event of a crisis, like a fire or an explosion, untold amounts of protected land could be irreparably damaged.
What can be done?
It's scary to think that such amazing places are in danger of losing their sources of income or of being ruined altogether! Luckily, there are ways for you to help out.
The first thing you can do is get informed! Preservation Maryland has a great deal of information about both of these endangered sites -- learn more about the proposed development in Annapolis and near Mount Vernon at their website.
There, you can also sign petitions to show your support. Let everyone in the state know that you want to keep these beautiful spots intact, and that you want other visitors to see the beauty of these places just as they are. You can also donate to Preservation Maryland's advocacy fund so that they can continue their efforts on the behalf of all of us. It's not too late, and you -- yes, you -- could make a difference!