News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of Forest Along Deer Creek In Harford County

Annapolis, MD (March 10, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of a 130-acre acquisition to expand the Falling Branch Area of Rocks State Park in Harford County. The addition is largely wooded with a mix of trees and evergreen plants and includes a significant amount of land directly facing the Falling Branch stream, a tributary of Deer Creek.

“This acquisition will add opportunities for nature-based outdoor recreation such as fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing and wildlife watching for Maryland families and children,” said Governor O’Malley.

The Falling Branch Area is located five miles north of Rocks State Park and is home to Kilgore Falls, a scenic and tranquil section of Falling Branch. It is a tributary of Deer Creek tucked back into the ravines of Northern Harford County, creating Maryland's second highest vertical drop waterfall. This non-developed, environmentally sensitive area has a serene hiking trail leading back to the waterfall.

Acquisition of this parcel was accomplished in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.

“The Trust for Public Land is very pleased to have been a part of this cooperative effort,” said Kent Whitehead, Chesapeake Project Director for the Trust for Public Land. “This acquisition will increase the outdoor recreation opportunities for Marylanders and contribute to an overall landscape preservation program that has been the joint effort of DNR, Harford County and the Harford Land Trust for a number of years.”

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 26,988 acres of natural areas for public recreation, watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the acquisition of 347,717 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.

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.

   March 10, 2010

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 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