News from the DNR Office of Communications

BPW Approves Preservation Of 90 Rural Legacy Acres In Baltimore County

Annapolis, Md. (December 1, 2010) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval for acquisition of a 90-acre conservation easement in the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County.

“Protecting farms and land important for water quality is essential in ensuring the sustainable future of our State,” said Governor O’Malley. “It’s important to note that this property will also protect two historic sites, which will preserve Maryland’s heritage for the education of future generations.”

This easement, located within a Baltimore County Agricultural Priority Preservation Area, lies adjacent to a block of more than 13,000 acres conserved by the Rural Legacy Program, Maryland Environmental Trust and Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation and includes two historic structures: Coxes Store and Redmen’s Hall. These structures are estimated to have been built between 1850 and 1860 and are part of the historic village of Trenton, a small rural village containing seven properties included on the Baltimore County Landmarks List.

Preservation of the Cassels-Smith Property will permanently protect 90 acres of agricultural and forest land, including 4,300 feet of buffers along streams that feed into Piney Run. Two development lots will be extinguished with the conservation of this property, which will be co-held by the Land Preservation Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“The easement on the Cassels-Smith property has been a number one priority of the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area since the initial grant application,” said Ann Jones of the Land Preservation Trust. “We were so happy that our partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources resulted in the preservation of such a valuable property that includes historic structures, thousands of feet of streams that drain into Piney Run, and a property that is already surrounded by existing conservation easements.”

The Piney Run Rural Legacy Area totals 32,320 acres, of which 15,965 are currently protected. It contains prime agricultural and forest land and areas that drain into the public drinking water supplies of Loch Raven and Prettyboy Reservoirs.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large tracts of forestry and agricultural land and natural resources, and for environmental protection while sustaining land for natural resource-based industries. Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has to date provided over $207 million to protect 68,592 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.

   December 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