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.

This year's Rural Legacy Advisory Committee meeting will be held on July 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held via videoconference due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The meeting can be accessed at the following link:

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.