by Karen G. Meshkov
Real estate development and environmental protection frequently don’t go hand in hand, particularly along the East Coast. It’s refreshing to know that there are places where naturalists, preservationists and ecologists have worked alongside real estate interests to develop residential opportunities that ensure the beauty, safety and preservation of the natural habitat.
Virginia’s Eastern Shore—the area that surrounds the Chesapeake Bay and the numerous rivers, creeks and coves that feed into it—is one such place. Located just a few hours south of Washington, D.C. and less than a day’s drive from the Philadelphia metropolitan area, this area is frequently regarded as one of the best places in the country to live or retire. Its rich, seaside culture is conducive to fishing, boating, “beaching”, kayaking and taking nature walks; the mean average temperature is a comfortable and thermostat-friendly 59 degrees.
It isn’t by accident that this area possesses such glory: The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Commonwealth of Virginia have invested more than $100-million to protect and restore 133,000 acres of coastal and mainland habitats, including barrier islands, marshes and upland forests. Their efforts have led to a reintroduction of a species of bay scallops to the coastal bays, which had not been seen there for more than 80 years.
Incredibly, this area is still a “best kept secret”, with affordable residences for ecologically inclined East Coast folks to tour, vacation and make their home. Most of the homes are on large, three- to five-acre tracts, and zoning is for single family units. These protections come from the commitment to environmental conservation, but the benefit for the homeowner is a spacious lot with excellent views and, in many cases, waterfront or beachfront access.
The Kirkwood Group offers beautiful waterfront properties, beachfront properties and water access properties along the Chesapeake Bay and the creeks and coves that feed into the bay. For example, Gull Point offers a 3,525-square-foot waterfront retreat on 2.88 acres, or build your dream home on one of Peaceful Beach’s expansive wooded sites. To see their current listings, visit KirkwoodOnTheShore.com.
Karen G. Meshkov is publisher of Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.