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Maryland Preserves Additional 46 Acres Of Open Space
More than $5.2 Million Provided to Local Governments for Shoreline Erosion Control, Park Expansion & Improvements
ANNAPOLIS, MD - The Board of Public Works (BPW) today approved Program Open Space funding that will be used to preserve more than 38 acres of natural lands in Baltimore and Frederick Counties, and fund shore erosion control, local park expansion and park improvement projects in 10 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.
“Maryland’s outstanding natural and historical resources are an integral part of our identity, and the O’Malley Administration is committed to making the investments necessary to their preservation,” said DNR Secretary John R. Griffin. “The purchase of these critical properties is one example of how this administration will continue to support long-term investment in our existing facilities, ensuring that all Marylanders have access to first rate parks and recreational areas.”
In Baltimore County, $675,000 in funding was approved for the purchase of a 7.75-acre parcel in Owings Mills, adjacent to the Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA). The parcel will be annexed into the NEA, one of only four major remnants of the globally rare serpentine grasslands still existing in Maryland, and will provide contiguous parcels in an area currently under restoration for rare and endangered species by DNR’s Serpentine Ecosystem Restoration Program. The acquisition will also fill a gap in the Wildland Urban Interface Firebreak Network, permitting access to the entire area by fire fighting equipment as needed.
The BPW approved $116,000 to purchase a 31-acre parcel located within South Mountain State Park in Frederick County. The property provides an excellent natural buffer zone for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, add to the scenic quality of the South Mountain State Battlefield, and safeguard the wildlife and forest cover that provides passive recreational opportunities for the thousands who enjoy hiking, hunting, bird watching and exploring in the area.
Seventeen Local Program Open Space projects were also approved at Wednesday’s BPW meeting:
- Allegany County – A $207,000 grant will allow for public use improvements at four local parks
– Lonaconing Little League Park, Baker Memorial Park, Cresaptown Community Park and the Frostburg Recreation Complex.
- Baltimore City
- Joseph Lee Park will renovate an existing playground and perimeter park path to improve playground safety and park accessibility and increase visitor enjoyment with a $200,000 grant.
- A $200,000 grant will help redevelop Woodberry Park to increase safety and accessibility and replace impervious pavement with a natural landscape.
- Carroll County – A $32,946 grant will improve Union Bridge Community Park’s basketball court with energy efficient, night-sky friendly outdoor lighting, backboards, posts, paving and nets, and cover the installation of a new batting cage pitching machine.
- Cecil County – A $20,625 grant will be used to replace the 30-year-old blacktop walkways at Perryville Community Park.
- Frederick County
- A $50,000 grant will replace existing, outdated playground equipment with new ADA- compliant equipment at the popular Prospect Park in Mt. Airy.
- A $90,000 grant will help finance construction of handicapped-accessible public restrooms at Wiles Branch Park in Middletown.
- Harford County - $249,313 in funding was approved to reconstruct the playground area at Todd Field Park in Havre de Grace, and increase walking paths and parking areas at Jarrettsville-Fox Meadows Complex in Jarrettsville.
- Montgomery County – A $3,268,000 grant will purchase land to expand Hillandale Local Park and South Germantown Recreational Park, specifically:
- A 0.31-acre in-holding containing a two-story commercial/office building will be acquired within Hillandale Local Park, a heavily used 23-acre recreation area.
- A 7.43-acre parcel of agricultural land will be preserved from residential development to expand South Germantown Recreational Park. The property is located within the Great Seneca Creek watershed, which runs into the Potomac River, and its protection will help protect the creek’s water quality.
- St. Mary’s County – A $125,000 grant was approved to construct a picnic pavilion and complete pedestrian trails at the John G. Lancaster Park in Lexington Park.
- Talbot County – Idlewild Park in Easton will install new playground equipment with a $147,110 grant.
- Washington County – $120,000 in funding was approved for Phase I of the construction and development of a new community fishing pond, landscaping, and a stormwater management pond at King Farm Park (i.e. Boonsboro Shafer Park). (Washington County will provide the remaining 80 percent of funds ($383,431) to complete the first phase.)
In addition, the BPW approved four loans totaling $553,000 to local communities for shore erosion control, specifically:
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions, and other procurement actions.
- Anne Arundel County – A $247,000 loan will fund 520 feet of stone reinforcement at Columbia Beach.
- Talbot County
- A $160,000 loan will fund 275 feet of stone revetment along the Chesapeake Bay at Black Walnut Point Road in Fairbanks.
- A $70,000 loan will fund marsh plants, stone sill, and sand fill along 170 feet of Eastern Bay by Bayshore Road in Wittman.
- A $76,000 loan will fund marsh plants, stone sill, and sand fill along 400 feet of Balls Creek near Long Point Road in Neavitt.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of more than 321,000 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by this program.
August 23, 2007
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 449,000 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 12 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