Land Preservation –
A goal of 20,000 contiguous acres by the end of 2020
As a community, our sense of place has never been stronger than it has been during the pandemic. Though we are socially isolated we are connected to the farms, forests, and streams that surround us. Disruptions of supply chains have underscored the need for local food sources. Our need to connect with nature, whether by backyard bird watching, hiking, or viewing a sunset has never been greater.
LPT works to protect these places we love, and that work continues. The land we protect is part of a cultural and biological web, providing physical and psychic benefit that extend far beyond the immediate area. And once protected, we know that that land will be there for future generations, providing food security, clean water, homes for wildlife and open spaces.
We have established a goal of protecting 20,000 contiguous acres by the end of 2020 and you can help us make that happen. Why is contiguity important?
For a farmer a contiguous block of preserved land means less conflict with neighbors and a promise that farming will remain the preferred use for years to come.
Improving stream quality along a large segment of streams improves water quality, allowing native species such as the brook trout to flourish.
Undeveloped corridors allow the unrestricted movement of wildlife, preserving the diversity of plant and animal species.
Creating a conservation minded community with hundreds of property owners who have voluntarily preserved their property is the best way to insure the long-term protection of the area.
We have identified key properties throughout the area that are cornerstones or connectors to our block of preserved properties. Cornerstones are essential to the preservation of the area. They include gateway properties to the area; properties that are rich in multiple resources; and properties that are the “holes in the donut” of a significant preservation cluster. Connectors are properties that have the potential to connect large, existing blocks of easement.
One Cornerstone property was recently protected with a Rural Legacy easement. This farm is surrounded by other preserved farms and the Rural Legacy funding enabled a young farmer to purchase the farm from his Grandparents estate. Providing the next generation of farmers with access to the land is essential if farming is to continue.
At this time there are 19,381 contiguous preserved acres. We have submitted Rural Legacy projects to the state that would protect an additional 341 acres, one of which is a cornerstone and connector that would add an additional 240 acres to the contiguous block of easements.
Baltimore County has also renewed its commitment to land preservation. Thanks to the help of many concerned citizens, the executives proposed budget effectively doubles the amount of funding available for preservation. While still less than surrounding counties, his efforts are appreciated, particularly in this time of tight budgets. We have submitted requests to Baltimore County to protect an additional 5 properties, encompassing 346 acres. Properties in our area are also continuing to apply to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation (MALPF) program, and at least 4 farms, totaling 252 acres have applied to MALPF in this funding cycle.
We are close to your goal, but we need your help. Donated easements to the Maryland Environmental Trust remain the foundation of our easement block.
If you have ever considered donating an easement, now is the time to donate and help us reach our 20,000 contiguous acre goal.
If you are interested in learning more about land preservation,
contact Ann Jones at 443-690-8420,