800 Acres Protected in Boyds, MD

ANNAPOLIS, MD, 12/13/2001 — Continuing his commitment to preserve the most ecologically important natural resource lands remaining in the State, Governor Parris N. Glendening today announced that $7.2 million in GreenPrint funds will be used to purchase 800 acres in Boyds, Montgomery County, through an agreement negotiated by the national non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL). The purchase of the property will link more than 5,000 acres of protected land, and is the center of a green corridor stretching from the Potomac River to the Patuxent River. The purchase is the largest, single land preservation acquisition in Montgomery County history. After the sale is complete, a conservation easement will be placed on the property, which will then be given to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

“The historic town of Boyds is surrounded by networks of wooded stream valleys, large blocks of mature forests, and serves as a gateway to the Montgomery County agricultural reserve,” said Governor Parris N. Glendening. “As a result of this unique public-private partnership, we will protect the largest remaining undeveloped property within Montgomery County and will help preserve the quality of life in the area by preventing sprawl development in the rural core of the county.”

Primarily forested, the property contains significant mineral resources in addition to wetlands, agricultural fields and the upper reaches of Little Seneca Creek. The property was previously owned by Bardon, Inc., and has significant potential for mineral extraction. Located just 25 miles north of Washington, DC along the commuter rail line, the area is also a prime target for development. In fact, the adjacent community of Germantown has grown by approximately 2,000 households per year over the last two decades.

In order to protect the land, Washington area landowner Michael Rubin and the Trust for Public Land purchased 800 acres from Bardon, Inc., and will sell the property to the State. Rubin also purchased another 900 acres and, drawing on TPL’s conservation real estate expertise, has agreed to sell the development rights to that land when future funding for a conservation easement becomes available.

“The partnership protecting this critical 1,700 acres acts on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the future of this area,” said Debi Osborne, Chesapeake Field Office Director of the Trust for Public Land. “Under Governor Glendening’s leadership in Smart Growth and green infrastructure planning, Maryland is protecting local resources while also leading the way in protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and meeting the land protection goal set out in the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.”

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for public use to improve the quality of life in communities, and to protect natural and historic resources for future generations. TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, conservation finance, and law to complete land transactions. TPL has helped protect more than 1.3 million acres across the country including more than 3,500 acres in Maryland.

Proposed by the Governor and passed by the General Assembly in 2001, the GreenPrint Program allows the State to take steps to preserve an extensive intertwined network of lands vital to the long-term protection of the State’s natural resources, in concert with other Smart Growth initiatives.

Today, Maryland has only two million acres of ecologically significant land that has not been impacted by development or otherwise diminished in its natural resource value. Of these two million acres of “green infrastructure,” almost three-quarters remain unprotected.