PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Oct. 24, 2018 –Calvert County Government has purchased a 48-acre property in the lushly forested reaches of southern Prince Frederick that opens new opportunities for water access, hiking trails, horseback riding and other outdoor recreation activities.

The parcel is nestled between two county parks – Biscoe Gray Heritage Farm and the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary – and features a residence and several outbuildings, basic infrastructure such as water, septic and electricity, and direct access to Battle Creek. With the purchase, Calvert County now has more than 340 contiguous acres of preserved forest and open space along the upper reaches of Battle Creek set aside for public use.

The majority of the new property, formerly owned by the Gatewood family, is cleared pasture. There are also trails within the wooded areas for hiking and horseback riding. Future plans for the property include converting the residence into a nature center, improving the existing pier, using barns for equipment storage, opening trails to the public and using fields for overflow parking, youth camping and demonstration gardens.

Image via Google Maps

“The Gatewood Preserve is an important acquisition for Calvert County and provides a new water access site complete with a kayak/canoe launch on scenic Battle Creek,” said Natural Resources Division Chief Karyn Molines. “With the forethought of Walter and Isabelle Gatewood to preserve this land, and the actions by their children to work with county government to create a nature park, citizens will enjoy the beauty of this new park for years to come.”

To fund the purchase, Calvert County Government reassigned excise tax receipts set aside in the Capital Improvement Plan to match grant funds from Maryland’s Program Open Space and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a budget adjustment for the purchase following a public hearing at its May 1, 2018 meeting. The total purchase price was $997,500, with $200,000 coming from excise taxes and the balance from the state and federal programs. The BOCC moved ahead with the purchase following extensive review from the Calvert County Planning Commission, environmental surveys and an inspection of the property.

Learn more about the Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation, Natural Resources Division, by calling 410-535-5327 or by visiting online updates on Parks & Recreation services, park availability, field closures and more visit Parks & Recreation Like Calvert County Government onFacebook.