News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of More Than 800 Acres Of Maryland Landscape

Projects Protect Habitat And Expand Opportunities In Worcester, Caroline and Charles Counties

Annapolis, MD (May 19, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of land acquisitions in Worcester, Caroline and Charles counties that protect rare plant species, provide important wildlife habitat and expand recreational opportunities through Program Open Space.

“The beauty of Program Open Space projects like these is that they allow us to preserve our most sensitive areas while also expanding opportunities for families to enjoy and connect with the landscape that has shaped us as Marylanders,” said Governor O’Malley.

The board approved the purchase of 344 acres of property to expand the Pocomoke State Forest in Worcester County. The property is bounded by Pocomoke State Forest and lands owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) known as the Nassawango Preserve. It contains several rare plant species and will expand opportunities for hunting and fishing at the forest.

Acquisition of this property was made possible through DNR’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

This parcel lies within the designated Pocomoke Focus area and the Target Ecological Area and has received a high ecological ranking under the Program Open Space Targeting System.

The board also approved the purchase of a 394-acre property located within the Potomac – Nanjemoy Conservation Area in Charles County. The property is entirely forested with areas of tidal and non-tidal marsh along the creek and approximately 1,400 linear feet of sandy shoreline on the Potomac River. This property provides excellent wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, water access and environmental education.

The parcel lies within a Target Ecological Area and its acquisition was made possible through DNR’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

“With the approval of the acquisition of these two properties by the Board of Public Works, The Nature Conservancy continues its long standing partnership with DNR to protect ecologically valuable areas identified as priorities by the State’s GreenPrint Program and TNC’s ecoregional planning process,” said Director of Conservation Programs Steve Bunker of The Nature Conservancy.

Also today, the BPW approved the purchase of 79 unimproved acres adjacent to Idyllwild Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Caroline County. The property is surrounded on three sides by Idyllwild WMA and is composed entirely of palustrine wetland and upland forest. This acquisition expands recreational opportunities for hunting, hiking and mountain biking. The property also provides important wildlife habitat and provides clean water to Marshyhope Creek and the Chesapeake Bay.

The property is within a Target Ecological Area and the designated Marshyhope-Nanticoke Focus Area. It is in close proximity to the Agricultural Security Corridor and Nanticoke Rural Legacy Areas, and has received a high ecological ranking under the Program Open Space Targeting System.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the Board of Public Works (BPW) have preserved more than 28,009 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 348,722 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 BPW 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 consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.

   May 19, 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