News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 102 Acres Through Program Open Space

Projects in Allegany and Montgomery Counties

Annapolis, Md. (November 3, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval to preserve 102 acres of Maryland landscape, including 100 acres in Allegany County, and almost three acres in Montgomery County through Program Open Space.

“Working with our partners, we continue to fulfill our duty to protect our State’s unique and rare wildlife while providing recreational opportunities for Marylanders to enjoy their natural surroundings,” Governor O’Malley.

Allegany County – The BPW approved preservation of the 100-acre Hine property, which lies adjacent to Green Ridge State Forest within the Town Creek Watershed. Title to this property will be vested in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This property is located within a Target Ecological Area (TEA) and its protection will enhance existing protected property in Green Ridge State Forest along Sugar Hollow, which is valued for its pristine shale barrens and other significant ecological features. A pond on the Hine property is home to the narrow-leaf cattail, which is very uncommon in eastern Allegany County, and it is also an important source of water during dry periods, benefitting wildlife during the summer months when water is scarce.

Montgomery County - The BPW also approved the purchase of the nearly 3-acre Zirn property, which will be included within Patuxent State Park. This property is located along an important meander of the Patuxent River and will provide critical water-related public access, including potential handicapped fishing access, to the river.

This property is located within a Target Ecological Area (TEA), and will serve to enhance recreational opportunities while also protecting additional important wildlife habitat for forest interior dwelling species and providing buffer to help protect water quality for future generations.

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 31,105 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 351,831 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.


   November 3, 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