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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $202,442 for Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties
Playground, park improvements, and conservation easement receive funding
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Reaffirming his commitment to support county park, recreation, and conservation projects, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. recently announced Board of Public Works approval of $202,442 in Program Open Space and Rural Legacy funds for Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.
“I am pleased that this round of approvals includes an item funded through our Rural Legacy program,” said Governor Ehrlich. “The conservation easement being acquired will help protect the Bear Creek watershed and help preserve the natural landscape north of Deep Creek Lake.”
The total allocation of $202,442 funds seven projects in three counties:
- Allegany County: The Board approved $15,000 in Program Open Space funds to renovate the community playground at Cresaptown Elementary School. This first phase of the project includes installing safety fencing, resurfacing the basketball court, and replacing the existing unsafe playground equipment with modular sets that are accessible to handicapped users.
- Allegany County: The Board approved $3,000 in Program Open Space funds to replace the retaining wall at Barton Memorial Park in the town of Barton. Severe weather during the past few years damaged the wall, making the structure unsafe.
- Garrett County: The Board approved $25,000 in Program Open Space funds to cover most of the cost of preparing the Garrett County 2005 Land Preservation and Recreation Plan, a planning project required by state law.
- Garrett County: The Board approved $136,042 in Rural Legacy funds to acquire a conservation easement on 71 acres of wooded and agricultural land on the Bender farm, located north of Deep Creek Lake in the Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area. This acquisition protects woodland, active farmland, and wildlife habitat and helps to preserve the scenic view in the area. Additionally, the easement agreement stipulates that the timber on the property will be managed and harvested in accord with the Forest Stewardship Plan. Garrett County will hold the easement title.
- Washington County: The Board approved $23,400 in Program Open Space funds to construct a gravel roadway and parking lot to accommodate users of the softball field and the new multipurpose field at Veteran’s Park in the town of Smithsburg. This project is part of the plan to develop the park to meet the needs of a growing town population, which has nearly doubled since 1990.
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 4,600 county and municipal park and conservation projects have been completed through the program, improving the quality of life for millions of Marylanders.
The Rural Legacy Program is designed to preserve large blocks of contiguous open space that are among Maryland’s most valuable lands 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.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to Maryland citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 435,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, as well as Maryland's wildlife and fishery species for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, the department manages natural, historic and cultural resources that attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov