MONKTON The Maryland State Government today announced $26 million in Fiscal Year 2007 Rural Legacy Program grant awards to area land trusts and local governments. Of this amount, $1.5 million is slated for the Mattapany project in St. Mary's County and $3M is slated for the Zekiah Watershed in Charles County. This years appropriation is nearly twice the allocation for FY 2006, which will permanently protect 4,535 acres of Marylands landscape from development.
The Rural Legacy Program is exceptional because it allows local governments and non-profits to identify and plan for preservation at the local level, through a grassroots process, said Governor Ehrlich. This community-up approach also supports more efficient and effective state government, allowing us to preserve more land and make Maryland a greener, better place to live. Currently, one in every five acres in Maryland is permanently protected.
The decision process for Rural Legacy grants includes review by the 11-member Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and the Rural Legacy Board, which is comprised of Marylands Agriculture, Natural Resources and Planning secretaries. The review process focuses on conservation investments that make significant contributions to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and Marylands most significant resources.
Maryland has several land preservation programs in addition to the Rural Legacy Program including, Program Open Space, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Maryland Environmental Trust, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, and Maryland Historical Trust.
The proposed FY07 Rural Legacy Program Grant Awards are scheduled to go before the Board of Public Works in October for final approval.
First Property Purchased for Preservation in Mattapany Rural Legacy Area
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Charles Countys Rural Legacy Program