Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $209,645 in Program Open Space
Funds for Worcester County
Vegetated, forested buffer and new athletic facilities included
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Demonstrating his commitment to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s waterways and also increasing recreation opportunities for all Marylanders, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced approval of $209,645 in Program Open Space (POS) funds for a forested buffer and two athletic facilities in Worcester County.
The Board approved $106,145 in POS funds for the purchase of a 61.5-acre easement through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) to provide a forested and vegetated buffer along the Pocomoke River in Worcester County. DNR and the Lower Shore Land Trust, Inc., will jointly hold the easement.
In addition, the Board approved a total of $103,500 for athletic facilities in Somerset and Worcester Counties.
“My commitment to restoring Maryland’s environmental health remains steadfast,” Governor Ehrlich said. “Streamside buffers are invaluable to the health of the waterways, as they prevent nutrients, sediment and silt from entering our waterways.”
The CREP program enables states to unite their land conservation programs with the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program and private environmental and conservation groups. Together, these groups contribute money and resources to provide farmers and ranchers strong financial incentives to implement conservation practices. These practices include planting trees and grasses along streams to filter runoff, restoring wetlands, and building fences to keep cattle away from waterways. The program prevents thousands of tons of silt, manure, and pesticides from seeping into waterways and provides critical habitat for wildlife.
The Board of Public Works also approved a total of $103,500 in POS funds for two athletic facilities.
The first is for the W. Glen Ward Memorial Ballfield in Somerset County. This project is the second phase of development and includes completing the installation of ballfield lights, erecting additional fencing, and upgrading the concession stand, parking area, pavilion, and bathroom facilities. To fund this project, $40,500 was allocated to the county.
The second is the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex in Worcester County. The project involves constructing a much-needed building to house a concession stand and restrooms at the heavily used complex near Berlin. The building will also provide additional storage area for park maintenance equipment. To fund this project, $63,000 was allocated to the county.
DNR’s Program Open Space is a nationally recognized program that provides funding for Maryland’s state and local parks and conservation areas. More than 3,000 county and municipal parks and conservation areas have been built through the program, improving the quality of life for millions of Marylanders.
Posted May 20, 2004