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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $3.7 Million for Anne Arundel and Charles Counties
Recreation projects and a conservation easement receive funding
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Praising Maryland’s programs for funding recreation and conservation projects, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $3,650,562 in Program Open Space funds for Anne Arundel and Charles Counties.
“The projects funded today will allow our citizens to ‘seize the day outdoors’,” said Governor Ehrlich. “These important conservation projects protect our watersheds and our water quality, and they demand our support.”
The Board is composed of Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
A total allocation of $3,650,562 will fund three projects in two counties:
Anne Arundel County
• The Board approved $1,800,000 in Program Open Space funds to develop East Park in Glen Burnie as the building site for the planned East Park Aquatic Center. The funding involves Phase I of the project. This 21-acre site, located on South Crain Highway and about a half-mile from I-97, is large enough to provide ample parking and allow future expansion. The Aquatic Center will be an indoor facility that includes a competitive lap pool with eight 25-yard lanes, a free-form leisure pool, a water slide, a three-lane lap area for instruction, and a spa. The facility will also have men’s and women’s locker rooms, family changing areas, two classrooms, offices, restrooms, and mechanical and electrical rooms. Currently, Anne Arundel County operates a single indoor pool in Annapolis. The East Park Aquatic Center is needed to accommodate north-county residents and a growing population. Usage is projected to exceed 500,000 visits annually.
• The Board approved $1,803,000 in Program Open Space funds to acquire 68 acres off Acton Lane in Waldorf to establish a new park. Demand for outdoor recreation facilities, particularly athletic fields, exceeds supply in this part of the county, where more than a third of the population resides. Due to intense development, few parcels suitable as parkland remain. The county envisions building athletic fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and trails on this land, which has 16 acres of woods and is now zoned for industrial use. Additionally, this acquisition will preserve open space in an area where homes and industry are heavily concentrated.
• The Board approved $47,562 in Program Open Space funds to acquire a perpetual easement through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program on 35 acres of the Farmer property in the Wicomico River watershed of Charles County. This acquisition will improve water quality by establishing forested buffers along a half-mile of streams and agricultural ditches, thereby reducing sediment and nutrient runoff into the Wicomico River, a tributary of the Potomac River. The easement will permanently protect these riparian buffers planted in accord with the federal program. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Conservancy for Charles County will jointly 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 Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program enables states to unite their land conservation programs with the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program and private environmental and conservation groups. Together, these groups contribute money and resources to provide farmers and ranchers strong financial incentives to implement conservation practices. These practices include planting trees and grasses along streams to filter runoff, restoring wetlands, and building fences to keep cattle away from waterways. The program prevents tons of silt, manure, and pesticides from seeping into waterways and provides critical habitat for wildlife.
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.
July 6, 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