County Will Invest $2.6 Million to Preserve Land for Passive Recreation, Reforestation
Annapolis, MD (July 26, 2018) – Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh today announced that the County has agreed to purchase the 140 acre property in Churchton popularly known as Turtle Run at Deep Cove.
“This pristine piece of property is well suited for Anne Arundel County’s passive recreation, preservation and reforestation efforts,” said County Executive Steve Schuh. “This purchase will assure this pristine land will not be residentially or commercially developed.”
The property, which abuts Franklin Point State Park, has been the subject of litigation between the developer and the citizen group South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, or SACRED. After 10-plus years of attempts, the project had been granted conditional approval to locate 11 homes on a 40-acre parcel along Deep Cove Creek. That decision was appealed by local residents and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and is now before the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals.
The County plans to create passive recreation areas, like hiking trails, and plant trees to preserve the site’s environmentally sensitive features such as tidal and non-tidal wetlands that feed into Deep Cove Creek. The funds for purchase for the property, as well as any reforestation efforts, would come from “fee in lieu” money paid into an account when developers remove trees. The funds have sat dormant for years.
Other efforts pertaining to “fee in lieu” funding include:
- Partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to establish forest conservation easements on large tracts of privately-owned land
- Awarding grants of up to $300,000 for waterway improvement projects
- Conducting an audit to determine the current tree canopy using aerial photography
- Identifying land owned by government agencies to form partnerships
- Developing a neighborhood tree planting initiative to improve the urban tree canopy
To learn more about grant opportunities for tree planting projects, visit the Chesapeake Bay Trust at www.cbtrust.org.