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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval of Funding to
Preserve 743 Acres in Cecil County
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, Governor Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of Program Open Space (POS) funds to preserve 743+ acres in Cecil County.
“This acquisition will protect wildlife habitat as well as water quality of the Sassafras River and Pond Creek, which flow into the Chesapeake Bay, all of which are increasingly threatened by rapid land development,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin.
Partnering with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Maryland will purchase a 743.8+ acre waterfront farm located on the Sassafras River in southeastern Cecil County. One of Cecil County’s premier rural properties, the Wright Farm contains upland forest, prime agricultural fields, and sensitive wetlands. The property is also home to several endangered and threatened species including puritan tiger beetles, bald eagles (two active nest sites), sandbar willow, Maryland burmarigold, American lotus and spongy lophotocarpus. Once purchased for the appraised value of $14,300,000, the farm will become part of the Grove Neck Natural Heritage Area.
“The acquisition of this spectacular property will truly benefit Maryland residents and help to ensure the quality of life and health of our communities for the long haul,” said Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Executive Director Rob Etgen. “Future generations will be able to enjoy the rural character that makes Cecil County and the Eastern Shore such a special place.”
“Preservation of the Wright farm offers future passive recreation opportunities and water accesses for canoeing and kayaking in lower Cecil County, where there are few properties available for public access,” added Griffin.
In total the BPW approved funding for 14 local park and recreation areas and preservation of more than 4,566 acres of agricultural and forest land in 18 Counties today.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 322,355 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.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
December 12, 2007
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
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