Lawrence Wetlands Preserve


The Lawrence Wetlands Preserve (LWP) is an 8.5-acre urban nature center featuring a variety of ecosystems including upland forest, swamp, marsh, shrublands, meadows, and a freshwater pond. The Preserve is located just outside of the Historic District in Chestertown within easy walking distance of the Foundation’s Holt Education Center. LWP programs provide an opportunity for students to explore fresh-water and terrestrial ecosystems while learning how land use in the watershed ultimately impacts the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Preserve is also an ideal site for the implementation of student-led action projects. Please Note: The Lawrence Preserve Classroom is currently under development and the facility is offering limited programs to small groups throughout the year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age range of students can participate in a program at the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve?

The Preserve can serve students of all ages, from Kindergarten through adult groups.

How many students can participate in a program at the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve?

Up to 30 students can participate in a program at the Preserve.

How long are programs at the Preserve?

Programs at the Preserve are generally 1.5 – 3 hours in length.

What do students learn during a visit to the Preserve?

Most programs at the Lawrence Wetland Preserve focus on wetland ecology and land use impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Students may also learn about pollinators, native landscaping, and identifying native vs. invasive plants.

What are some activities that students participate in at the Preserve?

While programs can be customized to meet the needs of each class that visits the Preserve, typical activities include catching marine life in the pond with dip nets, conducting tests to monitor water quality (dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrogen levels, turbidity). exploring the marsh on the boardwalk, and examining land uses within the Preserve’s watershed. Additional activities might include planting of native vegetation, removal of invasive species, wetland plant identification, sampling pollinators such as butterflies and moths, and identifying warm season grasses and flowers in the meadows.

What is the cost of a program at the Preserve?

The cost of a program at the Lawrence Wetland Preserve ranges from $5 – $15 per student. Costs vary depending on group size, duration of the program, and the cost of materials needed to run the activities.

Can programs at the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve be combined with other activities that take place on the water?

Yes! Programs at the Preserve can be coupled with educational programming at the Holt Education Center, under-sail programs aboard the schooner Sultana, or canoe and kayak trips on Radcliffe Creek to create a full-day experience for your class. Contact Sultana Education Foundation staff at 410-778-5954 to inquire about possible hybrid programs.

Are there any indoor amenities at the Preserve?

Currently, there are no indoor facilities available at the Preserve. SEF is working to raise funds to construct a Nature Center that will serve as a base of operations for future programs at the site. It is anticipated that groundbreak for the Center will take place in 2022 and that construction will be completed in 2023.