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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of $7 Million In Program Open Space Funding
More Than $1 Million Approved for Land Acquisition in Washington County
ANNAPOLIS — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of more than $7 million in Program Open Space (POS) funds for state and local projects.
At an April 18 meeting, The Board of Public Works approved $1,005,677 for Washington County’s acquisition of the 155.52-acre Woodley Farms property. This conservation easement, located on the Potomac River in the Mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area, preserves land around Antietam Battlefield and its approaches. It also preserves valuable agricultural and forested land as well as cultural resources, and will further protect the area’s water resources through required buffering of seasonal streams.
Also approved was the State’s $208,000 purchase of the 19.84-acre Robbins Tract in Dorchester County. The site was simultaneously swapped for the 17.3-acre Linthicum tract, a nearby property owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS will use the Robbins tract as an outdoor education and outreach programming space.
The newly acquired state tract is the planned site of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Discovery Center. The Center, which is being planned by the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and Business and Economic Development, will be developed in cooperation with Dorchester County and members of the community that have long sought an appropriate memorial to Tubman within the county.
The Linthicum tract was selected for its proximity to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and two locations where Harriet Tubman is believed to have lived. The project allows for the story of Tubman to be interpreted and told within a pristine and preserved landscape that looks much as it did when she lived in the area, and allows visitors to experience the Blackwater woodlands and swamps that Tubman navigated while helping move slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad system.
Local Program Open Space funding was approved as follows:
- $5,449,500 to Montgomery County for:
- Rock Creek Trail Bridge -- construction of a grade-separated pedestrian bridge for users of the Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail
- Black Hill Trail -- renovation of existing 2.38-mile trail and 1.2-mile extension
- South Germantown Park Acquisition -- purchase of .54 acres in an existing 731-acre park.
- Fairland Recreational Park -- design and retrofit a natural turf athletic field with an in-filled synthetic turf system
- Montgomery Blair Stadium -- design and retrofit a natural turf athletic field with an in-filled synthetic turf system
- $158,563 to Washington County for:
- Hagerstown Community College Court # 1 -- construction of an appropriate foundation, install a new Taraflex sports floor and complete the finishing work of the floor
- Hagerstown Community College Tennis Court -- resurfacing the college’s six tennis courts and install court lighting
- $116,230 to Frederick County for:
- Rosemont Lions Merryland Park, Phase 3 -- replacement of existing sidewalks and installation of new pavilion
- Brunswick Pool House -- improvement of the municipal pool bathhouse with updated plumbing
- Brunswick West End Park #2 -- construction of a walking, jogging and nature trail and the installation of tables and trash receptacles
- Brunswick Tennis Court – renovation of existing tennis court
- $68,655 to Cecil County for:
- Hollingsworth Manor Park -- installation of ADA-compliant playground equipment
- Holly Tree Park -- expansion of existing fencing and landscaping
- Hopkins Quarry Park -- development of a master plan and phase one environmental site assessment.
- $67,500 to Allegany County for the County Fairgrounds Camp Site for development of 30 camping sites.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of nearly 292,000 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by this program.
April 19, 2007
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 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov