News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of More Than 372 Acres Through Program Open Space

Projects Approved For Allegany, Charles and Dorchester Counties

Annapolis, Md. (October 20, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 372 acres of Maryland landscape, including 145 acres in Allegany County, 227 acres in Charles County, and a .25-acre inholding in Dorchester County through Program Open Space.

“For more than two decades, we have worked with our conservation partners to protect our State’s amazing array of rare species while appropriately balancing the public’s desire for recreation use and access,” said Governor O’Malley. “By working together, we are able to continue to preserve important landscape and resources for future generations of Marylanders.”

Allegany County — The BPW approved preservation of the 145-acre Deremer property, which lies adjacent to Warrior Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Allegany County. Conservation of the Deremer property will safeguard wildlife habitat and provide opportunities for public access and hunting while helping to protect a large area of the WMA from development impacts that are occurring along Cresap Mill Road.

This property is located within a Target Ecological Area (TEA) and its protection will create a significant continuous block of interior forest with the adjoining State lands. Moreover, it will provide a buffer to the adjoining Sandstone Glades, a unique natural community that supports rare flower species. It will also protect the headwaters of Frog Hollow Run from development, thereby providing watershed protection at a critical area within the Potomac River Basin.

Charles County — The BPW approved purchase of the 227-acre Benny Gray Point property, which will be included within Doncaster State Forest in Charles County. This acquisition will be managed by the Maryland Forest Service and will be incorporated into the broader Potomac-Nanjemoy Conservation Area.

This property is located within a Target Ecological Area (TEA), as well as within the designated Potomac-Nanjemoy Focus Area. This strategic acquisition of land will link sections of protected landscape-scale forest blocks near Nanjemoy Creek and the Potomac River, further helping to maintain small- and large-scale ecological integrity, safeguarding wildlife habitat, and protecting the water quality of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay for future generations, while also improving access for the public.

Dorchester County — The Evans Wharf LLC property in Dorchester County is a .25-acre inholding and approval of this acquisition located in Vienna represents a unique opportunity to conserve the sole remaining parcel needed to complete the Vienna Waterfront Park as an integral part of the Vienna Greenbelt Project. This acquisition will allow the Vienna to extend the Vienna Riverwalk and connect to the town’s Greenbelt and provide opportunities for environmental interpretation as well as direct public access to the Nanticoke River, a premier component of the newly-established Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

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 31,002 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 351,727 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.


   October 20, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov