Governor O’Malley Announces Preservation of More Than 4,400 Acres of Significant Maryland Landscape

Governor O’Malley Announces Preservation of More Than 4,400 Acres of Significant Maryland Landscape
BPW Unanimously Approves Acquisition of Historic Properties.

Annapolis, Md. — -( Today the Board of Public Works (BPW) unanimously approved the acquisition of 4,478 acres of ecologically and historically significant land stretching across Cecil, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties.

The unique features of the Maryland Province Property include more than 19 miles of Potomac River waterfront, extensive wildlife habitat, and historic ties to the State’s first colonial settlement.

“This transaction underscores our unwavering commitment to using dedicated Program Open space funds to protect our most important landscapes, said Governor O’Malley. “Despite this challenging fiscal climate, it remains our responsibility to preserve the natural treasures we hold in trust for our future generations.”

Preservation of the Province property offers a unique opportunity to preserve diverse natural habitats, safeguard wildlife habitats, protect the water quality of Chesapeake Bay and conserve sustainable forest lands.

This acquisition will provide extraordinary opportunities for environmental interpretation, education and recreational access, via nearly 20 miles of shoreline and an exciting direct connection to the State’s earliest colonial settlements.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, joined Governor O’Malley in December for the Governor’s announcement of the State’s intention to acquire these ecologically and historically significant forests and shorelines.

“The acquisition of properties within the Lands of the Maryland Province is a significant achievement both in terms of land conservation and in preventing encroachment at two adjacent military facilities,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “This unprecedented opportunity to safeguard the wildlife habitat, forestlands and water quality on and near these lands will preserve the environmental and cultural integrity of this space for generations to come. I applaud the Governor for making this a priority.”

Under the new Program Open Space Targeting System, preservation of the Province Property achieved an ecological ranking of 92 establishing the property as an excellent ecological project.

Local conservation leaders voiced their support for the acquisition of the property.

“Protecting these lands now ensures that the citizens of Maryland will enjoy the recreational, economic, and environmental benefits for generations to come,” said Kelly Carneal, Director of Partners for Open Space.

Citing the multiple environmental and cultural merits of the property, Bill Crouch, Maryland representative of The Conservation Fund said, “This is a once in forever opportunity to protect these lands — not for us — but for future generations.

Preserving the Province property also meets goals established by Maryland’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative.

Introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley in October 2008, Smart, Green & Growing was created to strengthen the state’s leadership role in fostering smarter, more sustainable growth and inspire action among all Marylanders to achieve a more sustainable future. The Initiative brings together state agencies, local governments, businesses and citizens to create more livable communities, improve transportation options, reduce the state’s carbon footprint, support resource based industry, invest in green technologies, preserve valuable resource lands and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Since 2007, Governor O’Malley and the BPW have preserved more than 20,752 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland through Program Open Space. Since its inception in 1969, the program has provided funding for acquisition of 340,463 acres of Maryland’s landscape.  Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by POS.

The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of 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.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 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