Hellen Creek Hemlock Preserve harbors part of an isolated stand of eastern Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), which is the southern-most stand in the coastal plain of the eastern U.S. The stand is probably a relict community left behind by the last glaciers some 15,000 years ago.
Protection of Hellen Creek started in 1957 with land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Chandler S. Robbins. It was preserved primarily for its protection of eastern hemlock in the coastal plain, as well as its rich birdlife.
In July, 2019, a unique partnership between TNC, local conservation organizations and state and federal government concluded a land transfer 10 years in the making.
The transaction spearheaded by the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) and Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust (CPNHT) involved the purchase of an easement to land along upper reaches of Hellen Creek near Lusby from TNC, which in turn donated the land to CPNHT.
Monies for the easement came from the U.S. Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program (REPI). The easement will be jointly owned by the Maryland Environmental Trust and PTLT, which will be responsible for protecting terms of the easement in perpetuity.
CPNHT, which has managed the land since 2006, will be responsible going forward for its care, including public access. Together with the Hellen Creek Preserve on the southern shore and the newly acquired Turner Road property on the northern, there are more than 280 acres of protected property on Hellen Creek.