Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of
$1,277,770 for Easements in Frederick, Washington, and Garrett Counties
BPW approved $596,202 for the Western Maryland Rail Trail and $260,281
in Program Open Space funds for parks in Frederick and Washington Counties
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Reiterating his commitment to protecting 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 $1,277,770 in Rural Legacy Program funds to acquire conservation easements on 582 acres in Frederick, Washington, and Garrett Counties.
These easements preserve farmlands, forests, wildlife habitats, wetlands, views of historic sites, Civil War sites, and watershed lands.
The Board also approved $596,202 for the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Washington County and $260,281 in Program Open Space funds for parkland and park facilities in Frederick and Washington Counties.
“The Rural Legacy Program is an extremely versatile means for protecting our heritage,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Easements arranged through this program conserve our natural resources but also preserve places where our history was so heartrendingly made, such as the battlefields of Antietam.”
Today’s Rural Legacy Program approvals totaling $1,277,770 fund four projects:
DNR’s 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 Rural Legacy Program acts through local governments and private land-trust sponsors to purchase conservation easements from willing property owners.
- Frederick County: The Board approved $600,000 to acquire easements on 171 acres in the Mid-Maryland Frederick Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, Civil War sites, and a greenbelt around the historic town of Burkittsville.
- Washington County: The Board approved $300,000 to acquire easements on 124 acres in the Mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area. The easements protect farmland, forests, the South Mountain Civil War battlefield, a view of the Antietam battlefield, and the rural character of the town of Sharpsburg by establishing a greenbelt.
- Washington County: The Board approved $77,770 to acquire a conservation easement on 34 acres of the Bonnet property in the Mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area. This easement preserves land near Sharpsburg and the Antietam battlefield, protects forested and agricultural land, and preserves stream buffers on a tributary of the Potomac River.
- Garrett County: The Board approved $300,000 to acquire easements on 253 acres in the Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area. These easements protects working farms, standing timber, a scenic view from the Cove overlook, natural habitats, wetlands, and waterways in the Bear Creek drainage basin.
The Board also approved $596,202 in Federal transportation and recreation funds to complete the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Washington County. This third and final phase includes constructing two miles of trail and a parking area. The entire project converts the old Western Maryland Railroad track, which runs parallel to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, into a 22-mile asphalt-paved trail for hikers and bikers.
The Board of Public Works also approved $260,281 in Program Open Space funds for four park projects in Frederick and Washington Counties.
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.
- Frederick County: The Board approved $9,300 to cover incidental costs related to the donation of 2.1 acres to the City of Brunswick for the West End Park. An aesthetically pleasing stream flows through the park.
- Frederick County: The Board approved a Program Open Space donation credit of $110,083 to allow the City of Brunswick to develop the 2.1-acre West End Park. Installations include modular play equipment with mulch and border, picnic tables, and trash receptacles.
- Washington County: The Board approved $31,500 to fund new lighting, electric upgrades, and a new water system on the grounds of the Washington County Agricultural and Education Center in Boonsboro. The lighting system will be energy efficient and will minimize light trespass beyond the facility.
- Washington County: The Board approved $109,398 to renovate tennis courts at Martin L. Snook Park, Regional Park, Clear Spring Park, Woodland Way Park, Doub’s Woods Park, and Hancock High School.
Posted June 11, 2004