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Northern Central Rail Trail Renamed In Honor Of Former DNR Secretary Torrey C. Brown
HUNT VALLEY – At a ceremony yesterday at Gunpowder Falls State Park, the Northern Central Rail Trail was officially renamed the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, after Maryland’s third Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary. Speakers at the event included DNR Secretary John R. Griffin, Patrick F. Noonan, Chair Emeritus of the Conservation Fund and former Maryland Park Service Superintendent Rick Barton.
“Every so often, a person stands out for their exceptional vision -- a vision that ultimately leads to a legacy of extraordinary achievements,” said Secretary Griffin, who served as Brown’s deputy for 12 years. “Torrey Brown is such a visionary, which he demonstrated time and time again during his tenure at DNR. Among his many significant contributions to Maryland’s natural resources was his recognition of the potential of the North Central Rail Trail. In honor of Torrey -- his appreciation, stewardship and love for our natural resources -- we are thrilled today to officially re-dedicate the North Central Rail Trail as the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail.”
Dr. Brown, who served as DNR Secretary from 1983 to early 1995, was the major driving force in developing the abandoned Northern Central Railroad as the state’s first multi-use recreational trail. Overcoming considerable opposition to the recreational trail concept and development, the new North Central Rail Trail was dedicated in 1984 and thus began an incredible success story. By the end of the decade, the Trail had blossomed under Brown’s leadership into a national model of what could be done with abandoned railroad property, and other states used this vision as a model.
The 20-mile trail is now wildly popular with the citizens of Maryland, hosting more than 850,000 visitors each year, and at its northern terminus connects with Pennsylvania’s rail trail extending into York County. The Monkton Train Station located on the trail is considered one of the state’s most unique public structures.
Brown’s appointment as Secretary was proceeded by a long and distinguished career in the Maryland General Assembly, including Chair of the Environmental Matters Committee.
May 17, 2007
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