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About CGE

Our vision

We all exist on common ground - the earth. It is that simple.


Our vision is a CGE community that unites people from different backgrounds who have the common goal of a better earth for everyone. We  strive to advance best practices for nature based approaches through applied field research and public outreach.


A native meadow exemplifies a core tenet of Common Ground Earth - diversity. We understand diversity is essential for a healthier community as well as a healthier earth. Just as plant diversity in a native meadow results in better health of the earth, CGE encourages diverse people, industries, perspectives, and expertise to be involved in our mission. After all, we all live on common ground - the earth.

Our Founder

Mark Magness

From his first part time work in the mid 1980's in lawn care and

landscaping as well as the occasional stints as a farm hand through

High School, Mark Magness has spent his entire career working in

and with nature. During his undergraduate years, Mark spent  

summers working in golf course management prior to working as an

intern/laboratory technician in a U.S. Army Environmental Toxicology

laboratory studying environmental impacts of explosives. His interest

in soil science and the environment being further sparked by his time

completing his Bachelor of Science at Delaware Valley University, Mark

shifted his focus to Soil Science and research. He continued with graduate

research studies in soil science, wetlands, and remediation of acid mine drainage in constructed wetlands at University of Maryland College Park, earning a Masters of Science (M.S.). Mark's professional career spanning nearly 30 years has encompassed​ implementing ecological restoration throughout the Mid-Atlantic area and leading large scale environmental and ecological investigations and restoration projects at military facilities throughout the United States.


The Connector

Sam Voss

As an Environmental Scientist for over 22 years, Sam Voss has

extensive experience in stream assessment, terrestrial and aquatic

habitat evaluations and monitoring, wildlife studies, ecological

restoration, and land conservation. Growing up on a farm in Harford

County, Sam took an interest in the outdoors and wildlife at an early

age. He followed those interests through high school and into

college, volunteering during summers to monitor raptor nesting

and habitat usage in Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming while pursuing a

Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies at Washington College.

For over a decade, Sam helped lead large scale environmental remediation activities throughout the east coast in support of Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, and EPA projects. More recently, Sam has concentrated on wildlife studies and environmental restoration and conservation work. Much of his summer is spent in Wyoming conducting environmental assessments in support of energy exploration and development, and avian migration studies on the coast of Texas in the fall. Locally, Sam works with landowners interested in environmental restoration, wildlife habitat creation, agricultural improvements, and land preservation. 



The Meadow Maker

Sara Tangren

Sara is a recognized expert in native plants, invasive plants, plant

identification, wild seed collection, native seed production, meadow

creation, soil science, and local geology. As a University of Maryland

Extension Educator, Sara developed and delivered educational and

outreach content on native and invasive plants through public

presentations, classes, and workshops across Maryland. Students included

Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, nursery professionals, landscape

professionals, and college students. She also worked with Master Gardeners

to collect wild native seeds, plant foundation beds, and produce seeds that

qualified for AOSCA certification. She was also a member of her

department's website development team. In 2017 alone, the 42 native plant

webpages she designed generated over 14,000 page views. Prior to her

tenure as a Extension Educator, Sara was the manager for over ten years of a small native seed and plant production farm in Davidsonville Maryland. The original name of the business, Bloomin' Natives, changed to Chesapeake Native Nursery in 2001. At the farm, she was in charge of wild seed collection, crop cultivation, harvest, cleaning, storage, and public tours. In the office she was in charge of website development and maintenance. In 2005 the business incorporated as the nonprofit Chesapeake Natives, and moved to the University of Maryland campus. Sara earned her B.A. in Earth Science and M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from Stony Brook University and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park in Natural Resources and Conservation.

thumbnail_Sara Tangren photo - 1_edited.

The Communicator

Sean Coomes

Hello there, I am Sean Coomes, Chief Marketing Officer for CGE. The

opportunity to be part of an organization that is 100% behind

sustainable efforts and is not for profit is a winning combination to me.

Working with Mark Magness, founder of Common Ground Earth, has

been very eye opening to all the work needed to be done in this area

of planet health. 


My passion for the arts came to fruition growing up in Fallston

Maryland. My parents raised all of their children to follow their own interests when it came to creativity.

As a result, art flourished in each of my siblings. This upbringing gravitated me towards the Art Institute of Philadelphia where I obtained a degree in Visual Communications. I have worked with many companies through the years with a focus on collaborative solutions to create the branding/marketing needed to give them the identity they are looking for.

The ultimate challenge in my line of work is being able to visually communicate branding and marketing strategies that accurately convey an organization's message. I was very interested in helping Mark with his mission of CGE. I've been a nature enthusiast my whole life and am excited for this opportunity. 


So, we're open for business. Ready to talk about any ideas you may have to help us further the effort of a more sustainable future. We are looking for candidates to work with us on test plots and demonstration sites now in Maryland, Virginia, D.C. and Pennsylvania to further awareness of the benefits of native meadows. Please check out the website and stay in touch!  We will be creating a library of information and education through our blog network. We encourage that you read the articles. They will tell our story. They will keep you in touch!  


Best Regards,

Sean Coomes, CMO CGE 

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We would love to hear from you.

Common Ground Earth cannot fulfill its mission without community participation. 

We are developing programs for Volunteerism, Scholarships, Mentoring, and

Student Internships in the nature-based industry.


CGE is always looking for fresh ideas from the

community to help us enhance the environment

around us. So reach out, we'd love to hear from you!

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