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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval of Funding for A New Park and Preservation of 133 Acres in Baltimore County
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, Governor Martin O’Malley announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of local-side Program Open Space (POS) funds for creation of a new community park and Rural Legacy funds to preserve 126 acres of agricultural and woodlands in Baltimore County.
"We appreciate the degree to which Governor O'Malley, Comptroller Franchot and Treasurer Kopp understand the critical importance of preserving open space to protect our natural resources while providing recreational opportunities. Their actions today further Baltimore County's Green Renaissance that benefits our citizens' overall quality of life," said County Executive Jim Smith.
A 24.8-acre parcel located at the northeast corner of Raphel Road and Interstate 95 in Kingsville will be purchased to create a new community park with $941,199 in local-side POS funds. Once established, Baltimore County expects up to 33,000 visits to the park annually.
"This important acquisition will enable the County to supply much needed recreation facilities to Kingsville and White Marsh residents," said Baltimore County Director of Recreation and Parks, Robert J. Barrett.
The BPW also approved the purchase of two conservation easements totaling more than 126 acres located in the Piney Run Watershed Rural Legacy Area of Baltimore County. Purchased for a combined $791,918.25, the easements preserve agricultural and woodlands and add to a large block (11,000+ acres) of preserved land. The easements help protect water quality by creating permanent riparian buffers along the streams on the properties, which feed into Western Run and the Loch Raven Reservoir, tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The Land Preservation Trust of Baltimore County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold the easements.
Additionally the BPW approved purchasing an 7+ acre property located in Owings Mills within Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area (NEA) using $500,000 of state-side POS funds. Purchase of the property will provide contiguous parcels in an area currently under restoration for rare and endangered species by DNR. Soldiers Delight N.E.A is one of only four major remnants of the globally rare serpentine grasslands still existing in Maryland. Acquisition of the parcel also fills a gap in the Wildland Urban Interface Firebreak Network, permitting access to the entire area by fire fighting equipment as needed.
In total the BPW approved funding for 14 local park and recreation areas and preservation of more than 4,566 acres of agricultural and forest land in 18 Counties today.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 322,355 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.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
December 12, 2007
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
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 www.dnr.maryland.gov