Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval Of $3.425 Million
For Conservation Easements In Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, And Harford Counties
BPW also approved $353,650 to preserve property near Wheaton Regional Park in Montgomery County
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Reiterating his commitment to protect more of Maryland’s natural areas and watershed lands, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced that the Board of Public Works approved a total of $3.425 million in Rural Legacy Program funds to acquire conservation easements on 908 acres in Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, and Harford Counties.
These easements will preserve a variety of farmlands, forests, scenic areas, historic sites, wildlife habitats and corridors, and watershed lands. In a related action, the Board designated the new Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area in Carroll County.
The Board also approved $353,650 in Program Open Space funds to preserve property adjoining Wheaton Regional Park in Montgomery County.
“The Rural Legacy Program is one of our finest means for protecting our invaluable watershed lands,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Conservation easements through this program preserve the natural beauty of our landscapes and help us achieve a cleaner, clearer, and more productive Chesapeake Bay.”
Today’s approvals will fund seven projects.
Additionally, the Board designated a new rural legacy area in Carroll County. The Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area includes most of the drainage basin of the East Branch and part of the West Branch of the Patapsco River and makes up 16 percent of the Liberty Reservoir watershed in Carroll County (the reservoir supplies drinking water to the metropolitan Baltimore area). This RLA, which includes the county’s most productive farmland, is fairly close to Baltimore City. The Maryland Historic Trust has identified thirty-three historic sites relating to historic agricultural use; these sites include churches, cemeteries, mills, schoolhouses, and farmhouses. This RLA also includes significant habitat for the bog turtle, a state-threatened species and a federally proposed threatened species.
- Cecil County: The Board approved $450,000 to acquire easements on 130 acres in the Fair Hill Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and historic sites in the northeast corner of Cecil County and contiguous to Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area.
- Baltimore County: The Board approved $375,000 to acquire easements on 61 acres in the Gunpowder River Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and cultural sites on both sides of the Gunpowder River and the Northern Central Trail in Baltimore County.
- Carroll County: The Board approved $750,000 to acquire easements on 254 acres in the Little Pipe Creek Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland and woodland, including riparian buffers, within the Little Pipe Creek watershed.
- Baltimore County: The Board approved $650,000 to acquire easements on 154 acres in the Long Green Valley Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect woodlands, farmland, and wildlife habitats and corridors and include lands in or directly contiguous to the Long Green Valley National Register Historic District.
- Harford County: The Board approved $350,000 to acquire easements on 79 acres in the Lower Deer Creek Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and cultural sites, and they lie within the Deer Creek State Scenic River watershed and adjacent to Rocks-Susquehanna State Park.
- Baltimore and Harford Counties: The Board approved $100,000 to acquire easements on 22 acres in the Manor Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, woodlands, natural resources, and cultural sites in My Lady’s Manor National Historic District and along Little Gunpowder Falls, a class 3 trout stream.
- Baltimore County: The Board approved $750,000 to acquire easements on 208 acres in the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, natural areas, and historic properties within or near National Register Historic Districts.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Rural Legacy Program is designed to preserve large blocks of contiguous open space that are among Maryland’s most valuable because of their multiple agricultural, forest, natural, and cultural resources. To protect these resources, the RLP acts through local governments and private land-trust sponsors to purchase conservation easements from willing property owners.
The Board of Public Works also approved $353,650 in POS funds to acquire the Koeneman property, which includes 1.51 acres and a single-family detached dwelling. The property adjoins the 535-acre Wheaton Regional Park in Montgomery County. The property and dwelling will be used by Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre public garden located in the park. Brookside Gardens was established in 1969 to foster appreciation for the art of gardening and the science of horticulture through plant collections and displays, learning opportunities, and events.
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 June 11, 2004