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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Preservation Of 350-Acre Wildlife Habitat, Forest Land In Charles County
Grove Farm Purchase Expands Recreation Opportunities Along Capt. Smith National Trail, Wicomico River
ANNAPOLIS — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Board of Public Works has approved acquisition of the 350-acre Grove Farm in Charles County, greatly expanding recreational opportunities along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and the Wicomico River.
“Acquisition of this beautiful, largely unspoiled scenic landscape of natural forest along the Wicomico River will allow us to safeguard wildlife habitat and the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay, and provide new opportunities for primitive camping, environmental education and recreation,” Governor O’Malley said.
The BPW approved the acquisition Wednesday using stateside Program Open Space funds in cooperation with The Conservation Fund.
“Preservation of the Grove property through the partnership between DNR and The Conservation Fund is an invaluable tool in assisting Charles County achieve its land preservation goals,” said Mary Grant, senior land use planner in the county. “Located on the Wicomico Scenic River, the property joins many other preserved properties in establishing the river's scenic legacy and protecting its high quality aquatic resources. We were thrilled to hear about the acquisition.
The property is a high priority conservation acquisition under Maryland’s new Program Open Space Stateside Targeting System. The ecologically based targeting approach was developed last year under Governor O’Malley’s BayStat Initiative to ensure the state is protecting the most strategically important landscapes to provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
The Captain John Smith National Historic Trail commemorates the explorations of Captain Smith on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 1607-1609. It is the first national water trail in the United States. Grove Farm provides an opportunity to compliment this water trail by establishing a land based trail system that could extend inland through the Nanjemoy area.
Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 2,943.12 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 323,762.7 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded through Program Open Space.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is 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.
July 18, 2008
Contact: Wiley Hall
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 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