News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 97 Acres In Frederick County

Annapolis, Md. (August 11, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 97 acres of historically significant land in Frederick County. Through Program Open Space, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will purchase the land, known as the Bussard/Miller property.

“By preserving the history of our great State, we are also planning for its future,” said Governor O’Malley. “Protecting key ecological areas that also shaped us as Marylanders ensures that our rich heritage and natural areas will be preserved for future generations.”

This historically significant property is situated in Frostown Gap, a scene of intense fighting during the Civil War’s Battle of South Mountain, and will become a part of South Mountain State Park. This acquisition will ensure the preservation of land that witnessed a key portion of the Battle of South Mountain and will protect crucial habitat for wildlife species.

The acquisition of the Bussard/Miller property will be ideal for park patrons to absorb the area’s historical importance and develop a complete and intimate understanding of the battles fought at Turner’s and Frostown Gaps during the Civil War. This will be the first property in Frostown Gap in the public domain.

This property is also located within the Target Ecological Area (TEA). A portion of the area is farmland, allowing the property to retain its Civil War-era appearance. The remaining portion of the property is wooded and traversed by a stream, which provides excellent habitat for wildlife such as songbirds, small mammals, and reptiles.

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 consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.

Since 2007, Governor O’Malley and the BPW preserved more than 28,677 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 349,404 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by Program Open Space.

   August 11, 2010

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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