Today, the St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners affirmed its commitment to preserving land for agricultural use during a special meeting. At the meeting held this morning on the designated preservation site, located at 21078 Three Notch Road in Lexington Park, the Board authorized the purchase of approximately 169 acres to begin the preservation of agricultural land in the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area.
The Mattapany Rural Legacy Area encompasses more than 13,000 acres south of Hermanville Road between the Chesapeake Bay and Route 5 to St. Jeromes Creek. Todays actions meet the Countys objectives to protect the Patuxent River Naval Air Station from encroachment and to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In combination with these preservation efforts, the County also will be working with Habitat for Humanity to provide no more than five lots for affordable housing.
We have been working closely with the state for over a year to get the Rural Legacy Program back on track in St. Marys County, said Thomas F. McKay, President, Board of County. We have done that, and today we are here to show our citizens that rural preservation is alive and well in our communities.
St. Marys County has partnered with the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust to administer the Maryland Rural Legacy Program using a combination of state and local funding. In January 2006, the state awarded a total of more than $1.5 million in rural legacy funding for land preservation efforts in St. Marys County.
The Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of agricultural, forested and open space land along the Patuxent River and within the Southern Maryland region. Through the use of conservation easements, land purchases and donations, and the purchase and donation of development rights, the PTLT is working to reduce sprawl and redirect development that is, among other things, decreasing land available for farming and other open space objectives, weakening the permeability of the land, causing siltation in surface waters and diminishing the quality of the area's drinking water, rivers, and of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Rural Legacy Program provides the focus and funding necessary to protect large, contiguous tracts of land and other strategic areas from sprawl development and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection through cooperative efforts among state and local governments and land trusts. Protection is provided through the acquisition of easements and fee estates from willing landowners and the supporting activities of Rural Legacy Sponsors and local governments.
Rural Legacy Program