Chesapeake Conservancy Partnership with Local Grocer Supports Susquehanna Restoration

(Annapolis, Md.) – Today, Chesapeake Conservancy announced a partnership with Glen’s Garden Market to balance the carbon footprint of the Washington, D.C.-based grocery stores and implement water quality projects in the Susquehanna River watershed. The goal of the partnership is to reinforce Glen’s Garden Market’s strong corporate sustainability to its consumers and create a model to incentivize other Chesapeake area businesses that are similarly supportive of offsetting produce sourcing not able to be grown and purchased within the watershed.

Glen’s Garden previously sold only products sourced from inside the Chesapeake Bay watershed to support local economies. However, in January owner Danielle Vogel announced an “annual offset project.” Through this project, Vogel has altered company policy of sourcing only local products, especially produce. The goal of this change, according to Vogel, is to reduce costumers’ carbon footprint by providing a single stop to buy groceries, even products shipped from outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Vogel has teamed up with the Chesapeake Conservancy to calculate the carbon footprint of shipping products from outside the watershed and the partnership will counteract it by planting trees as part of the Conservancy’s restoration efforts in the Susquehanna River watershed.

“Glen’s Garden Market exists for one very specific reason: to make climate change progress. We offer ‘Good Food from Close By,’ which means that nearly everything in the stores comes from the states of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and we grow and develop relationships with vendors who treat their land, their animals and their workforce with respect. But we realized that our neighbors want things like bananas and avocados — and that they were finding those things at other stores with less rigorous sourcing standards. We decided to offer a more expansive selection of produce so that folks feel empowered to do their full shop at Glen’s with confidence that the products they find here have integrity. By teaming up with the Chesapeake Conservancy, we’ve found a way to improve water quality, offset transportation emissions and offer our neighbors everything they’re looking for at their neighborhood grocery store!”

Through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Conservancy is currently working with partners on a three-year initiative to identify and implement projects that reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to improve water quality. In May, the Conservancy and partners will begin five projects that involve monitoring water quality before and after installing riparian buffers—vegetation that stabilizes stream banks and reduces sediment and nutrient runoff—to develop a model for implementing projects throughout the Susquehanna River watershed. Funding from the partnership with Glen’s Garden will go toward purchasing trees for riparian buffer plantings.

“The Chesapeake Conservancy is thrilled to partner with Glen’s Garden Market. This partnership will provide a great benefit to residents in Washington D.C. and the Chesapeake as a whole. Customers can shop for their favorite foods and at the same time they are supporting efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said. “Using high-resolution land cover data, the Conservancy has created an online analysis tool that identifies and ranks the places in high priority locations where projects will provide the most benefit to water quality improvement. The support from Glen’s Garden Market is a part of this community-based initiative to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our restoration efforts. We hope it will encourage other businesses to adopt a similar programs that support improving the health of the Chesapeake.”