Open Space acquisitions will protect forest land
Board of Public Works also approves local parks,
From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — More than 300 acres in Western Maryland will be protected as a result of Program Open Space property acquisitions and a donation from The Nature Conservancy.
The Maryland Board of Public Works approved the purchase of 299 acres in Allegany and Garrett counties and accepted the nine-acre donation of wooded land with rock outcrops as an addition to Potomac State Forest in Garrett County.
“The Nature Conservancy is delighted, through this donation, to contribute to the state of Maryland’s efforts to protect our outdoor heritage here in Western Maryland,” said Donnelle Keech, Allegany forest project director for The Nature Conservancy of Maryland. “Giving people the firsthand opportunity to enjoy our Maryland forests now is one of the best ways to make sure our children have the same chance in the future.”
The Program Open Space purchase of 244 acres in the Savage River State Forest area southwest of Frostburg for $365,625 contains rare mountain peat land, unusual red spruce forest and sensitive wetlands with numerous state-listed threatened species, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The Allegany County acquisition of 30 acres of forestland and trails for $75,000 is an addition to Green Ridge State Forest that will encompass the forest hiking trail named in honor of retired forest manager Francis Zumbrun, which has received a national trail designation.
“Today’s acquisitions are important as we move toward a sustainable future,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.
“By approving the nearly 300 acres in Western Maryland and with the help of The Nature Conservancy, we are preserving vital forests and trees, which will continue to help clean our water, air and natural resources.”
The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised of O’Malley as chairman, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.
The board also approved the following Program Open Space and Community Parks and Playgrounds projects:
• $15,000 to install handicapped-accessible playground equipment at the Barton Little League field and basketball court.
• $25,000 to install a handicapped-accessible playground at Barton Meadow Park.
• $45,000 to construct a concession building, rest room and storage building at the Frostburg Recreational Complex.
• $143,000 to construct a parking area at the Lonaconing Recreation Area and for renovations to the concession/rest room/storage building; upgrades to the baseball field; a new handicapped-accessible playground; and native tree plantings.
• $74,000 to replace an outdated concession stand, rest room/storage building and bleachers in Westernport for the Hot Stove League.
• $8,000 to install safety lighting next to the Grantsville Community Park walking trail and build a gazebo next to the town’s fishing pond and library.
• $88,000 to upgrade the concession stand, picnic area, lifeguard stands, ticket booth and playground equipment at Broadford Lake Recreation Area in Oakland.