Farm Scene - Maryland's Rural Legacy program


Statewide Map of Rural Legacy Areas

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“Rural Legacy and other state land conservation programs help protect and preserve lands, protect our quality of life, our greatest strength, and take responsibility for building a more sustainable tomorrow,” said Governor O’Malley.

Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land and to enhance natural resource, agricultural, forestry and environmental protection while supporting a sustainable land base for natural resource based industries. The program creates public-private partnerships and allows those who know the landscape best – land trusts and local governments – to determine the best way to protect the landscapes that are critical to our economy, environment and quality of life.

“This program is unique in that it encourages local governments and land trusts to work together and determine how best to protect their vital working landscapes”, said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary and Rural Legacy Board Chair John R. Griffin, who played a key role in development of the program. “It’s a well regarded and popular program that supports Governor O’Malley’s plan to target our limited land preservation resources.”

“The Land Preservation Trust, as the local representative for the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area, is excited by the support of the Governor, who clearly understands the direct connection between preservation of Maryland’s farmland and the vibrancy of our cities and towns – both sides of the smart growth coin”, said Land Preservation Trust Vice President Ned Halle.

Under Governor’s BayStat Initiative, land conservation investments are targeted to protect the most ecologically valuable properties that most directly impact Chesapeake Bay and local waterway health.

This year’s allocations include $16,034,000 in FY15 funds. There is at least one Rural Legacy Area in every county of the state and the total acreage designated in all Rural Legacy Areas is 895,425 acres.

Enacted by the General Assembly in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has dedicated over $239 million to preserve 76,809 acres of valuable farmland, forests, and natural areas.

Rural Legacy Program

...Saving the best of what's left
by creating greenbelts around
Maryland's communities
and saving our remaining countryside.