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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $1.7 Million for Calvert and Prince George’s Counties
Conservation easements and acquisitions protect habitat, watersheds, and rural land
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Reiterating his wholehearted support for protecting environmentally sensitive lands, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $1,719,300 in Rural Legacy and Program Open Space funds for Calvert and Prince George’s Counties.
“The pressures of development continue to be felt in many areas of the state,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Today’s approvals allow 306 environmentally valuable acres and more than two miles of riparian buffers to be protected through two conservation easements and two acquisitions.”
The Board is composed of Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
A total allocation of $1,719,300 will fund four projects in two counties:
- The Board approved $194,103 in Rural Legacy funds to acquire a conservation easement on 28 wooded acres near the county seat of Prince Frederick and in the Calvert Creeks Rural Legacy Area. The property is currently under a forest management plan for wildlife habitat and has a green-infrastructure rating of excellent. There has been a concerted effort by the county, the state, land trusts, and landowners to preserve the Parker’s Creek watershed, which is the largest relatively undisturbed ecosystem left on the western shore. This land lies within the watershed and is part of a greenbelt that extends from the Chesapeake Bay to the Patuxent River along Parker’s Creek and Battle Creek. This easement will help preserve the wilderness character of the area and the water quality of Parker’s Creek, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake. Calvert County will hold the easement title.
- The Board approved $772,891 in Rural Legacy funds to acquire a conservation easement on 116 acres of the Campbell Farm in the Calvert Creeks Rural Legacy Area. The property, which lies on a peninsula between the Patuxent River and St. Leonard Creek, is two-thirds wooded and one-third agricultural, and its green-infrastructure rating is excellent. This acquisition protects the rural character of the area and more than a mile of riparian buffers along a stream that drains into St. Leonard Creek. Calvert County will hold the easement title.
- The Board approved $538,606 in Rural Legacy funds to acquire the 153-acre Goldstein Farm in the Calvert Creeks Rural Legacy Area. The property, nearly all wooded and used for timber production in accord with a forest management plan, has a green-infrastructure rating of excellent. This acquisition provides for public access trails to adjacent state-owned land and protects water quality by maintaining 4,200 feet of forested buffers along streams that flow into Parker’s Creek. Calvert County will hold the title to the property.
Prince George’s County
- The Board approved $213,700 in Program Open Space funds to acquire 8.8 additional acres for the existing 40-acre park on Accokeek Road (Route 373) west of Route 5 in Brandywine. This is the second of three planned acquisitions, which in total will constitute Pleasant Springs Community Park, a new recreational facility meant to serve a rapidly growing population. These acquisitions will protect woods and agricultural land from residential development and will safeguard the buffered terrain around the headwaters of Burch Branch, a tributary of the Patuxent River.
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.
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.
Since assuming office, the Ehrlich Administration and its partners have invested more than $64 million to protect over 31,000 acres of land to help restore the Bay and its surrounding environment. With nearly one in every five acres permanently protected in Maryland, the state remains a national leader in land preservation.
June 16, 2005
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 18,000 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