DNR Announces Approval of $300,000 Rural Legacy Funds to Protect Land Near Antietam Battlefield
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary C. Ronald Franks recently announced the Board of Public Works approval of $300,062 in Rural Legacy Funds to preserve a 140-acre easement near Antietam Battlefield in Washington County.
“Preserving land that is beneficial to the Chesapeake Bay is one of the tenets of the Bay Restoration initiative,” Secretary Franks said. “This property will provide improved water quality, while maintaining a forested buffer that will continue to remove nitrogen and phosphorus before they enter the Bay.”
The conservation easement of a 140-acre farm owned by the Ritondo Family will assist with the preservation of land near Antietam Battlefield and around Sharpsburg. Preservation of this property will protect the wooded view shed on historic Hawk’s Hill to the south of Antietam. More than 8,000 acres have already been preserved, protecting the overall undeveloped nature of the area.
Since its inception in 1997, the award-winning Rural Legacy program has preserved 45,640 acres of Maryland’s landscape. The Program encourages local governments and private land trusts to identify Rural Legacy Areas and to competitively apply for funds to complement existing land conservation efforts. Easements or fee estate purchases are sought from willing landowners in order to protect areas vulnerable to sprawl development that can weaken an area’s natural resources, thereby jeopardizing the economic value of farming, forestry, recreation and tourism.
Posted March 8, 2004