News from the DNR Office of Communications

Board of Public Works Approves Preservation of 255 Acres in Anne Arundel County through Maryland Environmental Trust

Friendship, MD – The Board of Public Works (BPW) approved a 255-acre perpetual conservation easement in Anne Arundel County through the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) on July 1.

“We must preserve our critical natural areas to protect them from development for future generations of Maryland families,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The donation of this easement sets an invaluable example of citizen leadership in becoming active stewards of Maryland’s natural resources. As state organizations such as the Maryland Environmental Trust and local citizens work together to save Maryland’s historic and scenic rural vistas, forestland and agricultural land, we continue to work towards creating a future that is smart, green and growing.”

At its Wednesday meeting, the Board of Public Works approved the donation of a perpetual conservation easement to MET by the Clagett family to permanently preserve 255 acres of scenic and historic open space, agricultural and forestland, known as Holly Hill, located in southern Anne Arundel County. The property is adjacent to 323 acres of protected land under MET easements and supports the South County Small Area Plan, which aims to preserve the area’s natural resources – including its wetlands, shorelines, wildlife and its habitats – while striving to achieve a realistic economic balance that will allow the addition of new businesses while sustaining its existing agricultural industry.

Brice Clagett was a long-term board member of the Maryland Environmental Trust serving on the board of trustees until several months before his death in April 2008. He also served as Chairman from 1985 to 1989. Mr. Clagett, who lived at Holly Hill from 1968 until his death, granted this conservation easement to MET in his will.

“The MET easement forever protects a significant cultural landscape that includes historic tobacco barns and other agricultural buildings as well as the surrounding natural habitat and scenic vistas of open fields, fenced farmland, hedgerows, all of which are integral to the rural and historic characteristics of the area”, said Elizabeth Buxton, Director of MET.

Located along Friendship Road and Poplar Hill Road, the property contains approximately 154 acres of forestland and approximately 90 acres of tilled fields (corn/soybeans).The easement will also preserve a 100-foot vegetative buffer strip along Hall Creek, a tributary of the Patuxent River, protecting water quality and riparian wildlife habitat. The historic residence, Holly Hill c. 1689, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by an easement held by the Maryland Historical Trust.

The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor O’Malley (chair), 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.

A statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees, the Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly to preserve privately owned farm and forest lands and significant natural resources. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. It holds 989 easements and has protected over 121,000 acres across the state. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Local Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/met.


   July 6, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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