Patuxent River (MD) Farms Protected

St. Mary’s County, MD: Recently, the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) has made tremendous strides in the protection of the Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County with the permanent conservation of more than 1,500 acres. With funds from Maryland’s Rural Legacy program, PTLT, with the assistance of St. Mary’s County, the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Trust for Public Land (TPL), acquired conservation easements on the 960-acre Cremona Farm and the 562-acre Old Parlett Family Farm.

“Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust worked with St. Mary’s County to obtain the state’s Rural Legacy designation for the Huntersville area due to its richness in farms, forest and natural and cultural resources,” says Jim Conrad, executive director of PTLT. The designated Huntersville Rural Legacy Area extends along the Patuxent River between Golden Beach and Horse Landing and inland to Route 6. This Rural Legacy Area will contribute to the Patuxent River Greenway envisioned by the State of Maryland and the National Parks Service.

“The conservation of these two important properties demonstrates the value of partnerships among government agencies and private land conservation organizations to protect Maryland’s special rural resources,” Secretary of Natural Resources Sarah J. Taylor-Rogers, Ph.D.

The historic Cremona property, owned by Dr. Norton Dodge, contains active farmland and mature forests are important rural resources along the scenic Patuxent River. Plans call for the property to be managed in the public interest and may eventually include an environmental research and education center as well as an historical, environmental and archeological museum.

Conserving the Old Parlett Farm protects highly productive farmland and the Trent Hall Creek waterfront. The property adjoins the 500-acre Trent Hall and Washington Creek Farms, which are already protected by easements held by the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation. “As a national land conservation organization, the Trust for Public Land was pleased to use our expertise in real estate conservation transactions to assist in PTLT’s Patuxent River protection efforts,” says Debi Osborne, TPL’s Chesapeake field office director. In 1997, TPL also assisted St. Mary’s County is purchasing the 200-acre Myrtle Point peninsula on the Patuxent.

Land conservation initiatives throughout St. Mary’s County have been supported on a number of different fronts and the involvement on the county level has been key in successful conservation efforts. “Our participation in the Rural Legacy program has been a significant factor in helping us achieve the open space protection goals we have set for our community, which is one of the fastest-growing counties in Maryland,” said Joe Anderson of the Board of County Commissioners.

These conservation easements will be held jointly by the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust and the Maryland Environmental Trust. In addition, PTLT and St. Mary’s County are working to conserve other lands within the Huntersville area.

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit land conservation organization that specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and law to protect land for people. TPL conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in communities and to protect natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, and based in San Francisco, TPL has protected more than 1 million acres of land valued at $1.8 billion.

The Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of agricultural, forested and open space land along the Patuxent River and within the Southern Maryland region. The Trust recognizes that Southern Maryland’s natural beauty, rural character and its environmental and historical treasures are a heritage we must protect for future generations.

For over 30 years The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) has worked with families to protect Maryland’s scenic landscapes.