News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of $12.6 Million In Rural Legacy Allocations For FY 2011

Funding for 16 Counties, including creation of a new Rural Legacy area in Allegany County, will preserve working forests and farmland

Annapolis, Md. (September 1, 2010) —  The Board of Public Works (BPW) today approved Governor Martin O’Malley’s request for $12.6 million in grants to local governments and land trusts for preservation of forest and farmland across Maryland through the State’s nationally renowned Rural Legacy Program. With the addition of the Mountain Ridge Rural Legacy area in Allegany County, there are now Rural Legacy areas designated in every county in the State.

“Through the Rural Legacy Program, we are able to protect our working farms and forests and, in so doing, jobs for working families,” said Governor O’Malley. “By protecting a traditional way of life and our abundant natural resources, we can ensure a sustainable future for our children and our State.”

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program preserves large, contiguous tracts of land and enhances natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting sustainable land for natural resource based industries. The program is unique in that it creates public-private partnerships and allows those who know the landscape best – land trusts and local governments – to determine the best way to protect the landscapes that are critical to our economy, environment and quality of life.

Under the Governor’s BayStat Initiative and using Maryland’s GreenPrint mapping tool, land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health.

The Board of Public Works approved funding for 15 Rural Legacy grants to local governments and land trusts covering 16 counties in designated Rural Legacy Areas throughout the State, totaling $12,637,000 in Fiscal Year 2011 General Obligation Bond funds. Individual properties will later be submitted for BPW approval for the purchase of conservation easements or fee simple interests in real property.

The following Rural Legacy Fiscal Year 2011 Grants were approved today by the BPW:

Rural Legacy Area


FY2011 Grant Award

Agricultural Security Corridor

Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent and Talbot


Anne Arundel South

Anne Arundel


Coastal Bays



Deer Creek



Fair Hill



Foreman Branch

Queen Anne’s


Little Pipe Creek




Baltimore and Harford


Mid-Maryland Frederick



Mid-Maryland Washington



Mountain Ridge (new)






Piney Run



Quantico Creek



Zekiah Watershed



The BPW also approved a request for the designation of a new Rural Legacy area, known as Mountain Ridge, in Allegany County. The new Mountain Ridge Rural Legacy area will consist of 30,640 acres of large blocks of unbroken forest, pristine ecologically-significant areas and historic sites. The area is an important wildlife migration corridor, including a very significant golden eagle flyway. This Rural Legacy area will connect and enlarge the existing 10,163 acres of protected lands along the Allegany Front.

The BPW also approved requests to expand the boundaries of the existing Mattapany Rural Legacy Area in St. Mary’s County, as well as the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area in Carroll County. The 223-acre expansion in St. Mary’s County will include a highly strategic property whose preservation would protect flight operations adjacent to Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The expansion in Carroll County consists of 26,700 ecologically significant acres, including the headwaters of Gunpowder Falls and additional targeted ecological areas.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $204 million to protect 67,096 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.

   September 1, 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