News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Environmental Trust Announces 1,254 Acres Protected In 2010

Crownsville, Md. (January 27, 2011) — Maryland landowners protected 1,254 acres of farmland, woodland and scenic open space in 2010 by agreeing to permanent conservation easements with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). Established when property owners donate development rights of their properties to MET, these easements will prevent future residential and commercial development and forever protect habitat, wetlands, forests, farms and the Chesapeake Bay.

“Every year Marylanders show their commitment to preserving our State’s rich history and landscape by participating in this program,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We thank our fellow citizens for their efforts in helping to ensure a sustainable future.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Maryland land conservation team that surpassed its BayStat Land Conservation Goals,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “Over 40 percent of our preserved acres in 2010 were Green Infrastructure, of which over 700 acres preserve Targeted Ecological Areas, some of the most ecologically valuable lands in Maryland.”

One of the easements includes an historic property in Carroll County that is listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Places. MET partnered with the Carroll County Land Trust and worked with land owner Janet Brown to protect her property, which is part of the historic Mathias-Smeach Farm outside of Westminster. The property is surrounded by over 600 acres of protected lands and also contains habitat for the bog turtle, which is listed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened. The easement helps to protect this important habitat as well as the scenic and historic resources on the property.

On another project, MET and The Manor Conservancy worked with Monkton landowner Ellen Reeder to permanently protect her historic farm located within the Manor Rural Legacy Area. This 81-acre property is adjacent to many other protected properties and is located within the My Lady's Manor National Register Historic District. The original house on the farm dates back to the late 1700s.
The easement protects water quality along Nelson Branch, a tributary of the Gunpowder River, and scenic views along Hess Road.

The 20 conservation easements acquired in 2010, many jointly held with MET’s local land trust partners, include acreage in the following counties:

  • 94 acres in Allegany County
  • 85 acres in Baltimore County
  • 23 acres in Carroll County
  • 115 acres in Cecil County
  • 294 acres in Dorchester County
  • 18 acres in Frederick County
  • 15 acres in Garrett County
  • 43 acres in Montgomery County
  • 486 acres in Queen Anne’s County
  • 52 acres in Somerset County
  • 9 acres in Washington County

A statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees and affiliated with the Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. It holds more than 1,022 easements totaling over 127,000 acres across the State. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Local Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit

   January 27, 2011

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