News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office
LEONARDTOWN, MD.- The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County are pleased to announce that the Maryland Board of Public Works last week awarded over $2.5M in FY20 grant funding for land preservation in St. Mary’s County. Southern Maryland Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Board, Inc. will use the grant, along with County and Navy funding, to purchase conservation easements in the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area (RLA). In total, RC&D has leveraged over $9.5M to preserve over 1,670 acres of land in the Mattapany RLA over the last two years.
Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous blocks of environmentally sensitive land while supporting agriculture and natural resource-based industries.
Recognizing these important benefits, as well as the need to protect the local quality of life and rural character, St. Mary’s County provides matching funds for conservation easements through its land preservation program. The Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program also contributes significant funding for the easements in order to minimize conflicts between development and military operations at NAS Patuxent River and Webster field.
Commissioner Todd Morgan was pleased to join RC&D’s Executive Director, Cindy Greb, at the Board of Public Works’ grant award announcement. “We are happy to be able to give landowners the option of preserving their farmland and protecting it for future generations,” Morgan said.
RC&D is currently preparing its grant application for FY21 Rural Legacy Program funding. Landowners in the Mattapany RLA (roughly bounded by Hermanville Road to the north and the Rt. 5 and 235 intersections to the south) who are interested in participating in the program should contact RC&D by Jan. 24, 2020, to verify their eligibility. The time from application to completion of the easement process is typically 18-24 months.