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Rural Legacy Program Preserves 689 Acres

Easements in Carroll, Frederick, Worcester and Somerset Counties

Annapolis, Md. (March 21, 2012) — The State of Maryland has added nearly 700 acres to its permanently protected rural landscape, extinguishing 52 development rights in four counties. Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works’ approval of five separate transactions in the Little Pipe Creek, Mid-Maryland Frederick, Coastal Bays and Dividing Creek Rural Legacy Areas.

“By partnering with our State’s working farmers, we are not only protecting their legacies, but also preserving Maryland’s heritage and natural beauty for our children and theirs,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

In Carroll County, preservation of the 94-acre Albaugh and 13-acre Gregg Properties will protect grassed buffers along Little Pipe Creek, while allowing excellent bottomland soils to remain available for agricultural use.

“The southern portion of the Albaugh property, home to the Monocacy River and Double Pipe Creek, will forever provide scenic beauty from a public roadway to be enjoyed by all,” said Deborah Bowers, preservation specialist with the Carroll County Government. The Gregg easement will prevent further subdivision of this property and will protect the integrity of many historic structures as well as the scenic quality of the property near Westminster.

Both easements will be held by Carroll County. The Little Pipe Creek Rural Legacy Area totals 24,941 acres of which 11,706 are currently protected.

In Frederick County, preservation of the 109-acre Thrasher Farm and the 130-acre Home Farm will permanently protect these high Priority Preservation Areas from urban sprawl. The Thrasher Farm will preserve a buffer along the tributary of Broad Creek Run and the Home Farm will preserve a buffer along a tributary of Little Catoctin Creek.

The Home Farm will protect the viewshed from the Appalachian Trail and South Mountain State Park, and protect the historic town of Burkittsville from development. The farm is part of the larger Damazo family crop operation.

“The Home Farm is one of Frederick County’s highest priorities for preservation because it’s surrounded by a block of over 6,000 acres of permanently protected land,” said Anne Bradley, land preservation program administrator with Frederick County Government. “The area is fondly referred to as the ‘hole in the donut’ in the largest block of land preservation easements in the county.”

Both easements will be held by Frederick County. The Mid-Maryland Frederick Rural Legacy Area totals 26,351 acres of which 12,356 are currently protected.

In Worcester County, preservation of the 251-acre Tidewater Farms Property will add to the 27,000 protected acres of farmland and forest in the southern Chincoteague Bay watershed.

“This property, located on Tanhouse Creek, adds to a ‘greenbelt’ of protected lands that surround the village of Public Landing,” said James “Bud” Church, President, County Commissioners of Worcester County.

This easement will be held by the County Commissioners of Worcester County and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Coastal Bays Rural Legacy Area totals 26,110 acres of which 14,089 are currently protected.

In Somerset County, preservation of the 91-acre Riggin Property will conserve nearly 50 acres of open farmland, the majority certified as prime farmland due to its high-quality soil by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The property is home to a variety of forest dwelling animals, including the federally endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel.

“This is easement is great because it adds to neighboring protected forest areas and the freshwater wetland system of Dividing Creek,” said Kate Patton of the Lower Shore Land Trust.

This easement will be held by the Department of Natural Resources, the Lower Shore Land Trust and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Dividing Creek Rural Legacy Area totals 23,000 acres of which 4,298 are currently protected.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $205 million to protect 67,354 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas. The 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Maryland’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning Secretaries, reviews grant applications annually. For additional information, visit

The three member Board of Public Works is composed 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 consultation contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement transactions.

   March 21, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

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