From the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:
Governor Martin O’Malley announced this week Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Somerset Counties through Program Open Space and the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program.
“By continuing to work together with our local partners, we are creating a more sustainable future for our children and our State,” said Governor O’Malley. “Providing safe, accessible outdoor spaces for Maryland children to connect with the outdoors instills values of awareness and responsibility in the next generation of stewards.”
Harford County will receive $22,751 to acquire two parcels totaling 27.99 acres with frontage on MD 23 adjacent to the Rural Village of Jarrettsville, Md. Over several years, the total amount of eligible Program Open Space assistance requested for this project will be $1,324,000. This site will be used for development of an indoor recreation facility with passive parkland. The land is well suited for development of this facility as it lies less than 1/4 mile from the Jarrettsville Recreation Complex and Jarrettsville Elementary School. The existing structures may be used as offices, storage, and maintenance buildings. The 2.5 acre farm pond will provide for passive recreation opportunities. Funds totaling $188,000 were previously approved by the Board of Public Works.
The 582-acre Camp Conowingo property of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland was also approved for preservation. The extensive bluffs along the Susquehanna River provide water quality and nature protection, as well as scenic amenities for fishermen, canoeists, tubers and other water lovers. The property overlaps and buffers a large area of unique and protected Pilot Serpentine Barren, one of only four remaining examples of this federally-endangered natural community in Maryland.
Although this parcel was owned by the Girl Scouts, it had not been permanently protected. Purchase of a conservation easement on this parcel through Program Open Space will provide permanent protection for future generations. Due to tough economic times, Girl Scouts camps throughout the country are being threatened. The Camp’s proximity to Rt. 95 makes it increasingly attractive to builders and developers as it lies directly in the pathway of Cecil County’s growth corridor. Purchase of the conservation easement on Camp Conowingo will provide significant environmental benefits while helping to protect the camp and the area in perpetuity.
This property is located within the Target Ecological Area and contains approximately 530 acres of forest and over 12,000 feet of interior streams. Eight species of fauna that are listed as rare, threatened or endangered are known to inhabit the property.