Partnership Adds Parkland to South River Greenway (MD)

March 30, 2009

Nonprofit and government partners announced today the protection of thirty acres of South River watershed land in Crownsville, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The Trust for Public Land negotiated the purchase and the land will now be owned and managed by Anne Arundel County as an addition to the South River Greenway, a new park and greenway formed from the former grounds of Crownsville State Hospital. Funding for the $690,000 purchase was provided by Maryland's Program Open Space.

The county hopes to acquire additional nearby properties to further expand the nearly 600-acre park, which is only six miles from downtown Annapolis. Together with federal, state, and local agencies and organizations, TPL is working to acquire key private parcels that will be added to existing county-owned land to protect water quality, preserve wildlife habitat, and offer greater outdoor recreation opportunities. This 30-acre project is part of the larger efforts, spearheaded by the South River Federation, to protect the South River watershed, which drains into Chesapeake Bay.

The South River Federation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, restore, and celebrate the South River and its ecosystem. The watershed-which reaches rapidly developing Crownsville, Millersville, Edgewater, and portions of Annapolis-provides recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat within this urbanizing area. TPL, as one of many partner organizations within the South River Federation partnership, is focusing its efforts on the acquisition of specific land parcels within the overall protection plan that reduce the burden of development on the watershed.

"The acquisition of the property is the first of what we hope will be several successful projects within this focus area," said Kent Whitehead, Chesapeake project director for The Trust for Public Land. "Working with the South River Federation and Anne Arundel County Parks, we hope to identify more willing sellers in the area and negotiate purchases that will add to the protected public recreation land and wildlife habitat in the South River watershed."

"We are extremely pleased to be working with such a focused, effective group of organizations on the important task of protecting the headwaters of the South River," said Erik Michelsen, Executive Director of the South River Federation. "The property represents an important piece in the larger South River Greenway puzzle."

Through its Parks for People-Community Rivers program in Maryland, The Trust for Public Land is working with government agencies at all levels and with local organizations to help create one of the greenest and largest metropolitan river park systems in the country. The Community Rivers program is expanding existing public spaces and park connections by creating new parks and protecting land along primary western Chesapeake Bay tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay itself.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres nationwide, including more than 8,000 acres in Maryland.