St. Mary's County Announces Approval of Rural Legacy Funds - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's County Announces Approval of Rural Legacy Funds

The St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners and the Patuxtent Tidewater Land Trust are pleased to announce that the state has approved the St. Mary's County Rural Legacy application and awarded $1.5 million dollars in funding to the Mattapany area and $300,000 to the Huntersville area.

"This funding is critical in preserving thousands of acres of land along the Chesapeake Bay, south of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station," said Thomas F. McKay, President, Board of County Commissioners. "By applying for and receiving the funding for rural legacy designation, the County intends to preserve the environmental integrity of our farms, woodlands and rivers as well as the Chesapeake Bay. The designation will also protect lands near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station from encroachment by future development."

In April 2005, St. Mary's County Commissioner President Thomas F. McKay invited members of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Rural Legacy Program, including Bruce Fleming, Chairman, Rural Legacy Advisory Committee, and Pamela Bush, Director, Rural Legacy Program, to St. Mary's County for a staff briefing to provide them with a better understanding of the rural areas under consideration in St. Mary's County including the Huntersville and Mattapany Rural Legacy Areas.

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich awarded Rural Legacy funding at a ceremony in Baltimore County on Wednesday, January 24, 2006. The Rural Legacy Program, part of Maryland's Smart Growth Initiatives, encourages local governments and private land trusts to identify Rural Legacy Areas and to competitively apply for funds to complement existing land preservation efforts or to develop new ones. Easements or fee estate purchases are sought from willing landowners in order to protect areas vulnerable to sprawl development that can weaken an area's natural resources, thereby jeopardizing the economic value of farming, forestry, recreation and tourism.

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