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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $1.4 Million for Baltimore, Harford, and Montgomery Counties
Parks and conservation easements receive funding
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Restating his support for county park and conservation projects, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $1,432,692 in Program Open Space and Rural Legacy funds for Baltimore, Harford, and Montgomery Counties.
“Two county parks, one old and one new, received assistance today through Program Open Space,” said Governor Ehrlich. “I am also pleased to say that conservation easements purchased through the Rural Legacy Program will preserve 91 rural acres and a mile of riparian buffers along tributaries that flow into the Potomac River.”
The total allocation of $1,432,692 funds four projects in three counties:
- Baltimore County: The Board approved $618,000 in Program Open Space funds for bridge construction and road improvements at the 370-acre Cromwell Valley Park, located just south of Loch Raven Reservoir. A low bridge spanning Minebank Run and servicing the main entry road will be relocated to replace a makeshift crossing over a tributary of Minebank Run. This upgrade ensures a safe emergency route to or from the Merrick area and allows better access for park maintenance and management vehicles. A new bridge will be constructed over the 100-year flood plain to replace the old low bridge, and the existing dirt road that runs between the Sherwood and Merrick areas will be paved.
- Harford County: The Board approved $400,000 in Program Open Space funds to develop Rutledge Park on a 35-acre site in the Jarrettsville community. This project involves constructing two baseball and softball diamonds, three fields for soccer and lacrosse, an entrance road and parking lot, and support facilities. Reforestation through the county and the DNR Forest Service will enhance wetland buffer zones.
- Montgomery County: The Board approved $133,931 in Rural Legacy funds to acquire a conservation easement on 31 acres of the Poss property, located in the Mid-Maryland Montgomery Rural Legacy Area. This acquisition will protect 11 acres of active farmland, 20 acres of forest, 5 acres of nontidal wetlands, wildlife habitat, and 3,167 feet of riparian buffer along the Monocacy River, a tributary of the Potomac River. The forest and the farmland will be managed in accord with a Total Resource Management Plan. Montgomery County will hold the easement title.
- Montgomery County: The Board approved $280,761 in Rural legacy funds to acquire a conservation easement on 60 acres of the Potomac Hunt property, located in the Mid-Maryland Montgomery Rural Legacy Area. This acquisition will protect 47 acres of farmland, 5 acres of forest, 3 acres of nontidal wetland, wildlife habitat, and 2,100 feet of riparian buffer along a tributary of Little Seneca Creek, which drains into the Potomac River. The forest and the farmland will be managed in accord with a Total Resource Management Plan. Montgomery County will hold the easement title.
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 citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources 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