Land Acquisition and Planning

Maryland's Rural Legacy Program


Rural Legacy Milestone

With the Board of Public Works’ approval of five new conservation easements, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has now conserved more than 100,000 acres of land throughout the state.  Read more...

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries. The program 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. 

The program encourages local governments and land trusts to work together and determine how best to protect their vital working landscapes.

Land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health.

The Rural Legacy Advisory Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on July 21, 2021, virtually via the Google Meet platform. The meeting can be accessed online via:

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 440-783-4351‬ PIN: ‪367 253 249‬#

Members of the Advisory Committee have been appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Rural Legacy Advisory Committee is a body composed of representatives from various public and private sectors with an interest in Maryland’s land preservation efforts. They are responsible for reviewing Rural Legacy Sponsor applications in a fair and consistent manner and making recommendations for funding to the Rural Legacy Board.

The Rural Legacy Program encourages local governments and private land trusts to identify Rural Legacy Areas - delineated areas within a county that include both working farms and ecologically significant landscapes that fit the conservation goals of the Program.  Local Sponsors must apply annually to the Rural Legacy Board to receive funding.

Pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, the Rural Legacy Advisory Committee meeting is open to the public; however; part of the meeting may be conducted in closed session pursuant to § 3-305(b)(3).  During the open portion of the meeting, if invited by the Chair to participate, the public may comment on the discussion. Please contact Tom McCarthy at if you plan to attend or if you plan to attend and need any accommodations.

Rural Legacy Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda

1:00 pm - Introductions and Overview

1:10pm - Public Comments

1:30pm - Consideration of Rural Legacy Applications and Funding (Closed Session)

2:45pm - Vote on Rural Legacy Applications and Funding (Closed Session)

3:00 pm - Adjournment 

There is at least one Rural Legacy Area in every county of the state and the total acreage designated in all Rural Legacy Areas is 920,694 acres.​​

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has dedicated over $305.6 million to preserve 86,103 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas.

Maryland Rural Legacy Arrea Map 

Rural Legacy Program

...Saving the best of what's left
by creating greenbelts around
Maryland's communities
and saving our remaining countryside.