Anne Arundel County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announced awards of three grants to permanently protect 137 acres of the Palisades, Herring Bay and Cranberry Woods forest tracts.
“We are pursuing a vigorous effort to plant and preserve trees because of the benefits they provide to the environment, the economy and the overall quality of life,” said County Executive Steve Schuh. “The Chesapeake Bay Trust is uniquely qualified to identify and secure conservation easements in a suburban jurisdiction where significant land is spoken for. They are doing a tremendous job.”
The grants are the result of a public private partnership offering funds to landowners to purchase and monitor permanent conservation easements. Grants totaling just over $500,000 were awarded to increase the number of acres of protected forested land in the Anne Arundel County.
“We are so happy to be expanding our partnership with Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program into the conservation realm.” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Permanently protecting these healthy, forested acres is not only vital to our local waters and the Bay, but to promoting clean, healthy water and air for our residents.”
The partnership is an effort to implement cost-effective reforestation and greening projects, as well as increase the number of protected, forested acres in the County. Increasing tree cover and expanding green areas reduces erosion; reduces flooding; improves water and soil quality; filters the pollutants in our air; and provides shade that can reduce energy costs for homes and businesses and keeps streams cool to protect their habitat. Protecting forested land keeps us healthy and protects valuable ecological services such as habitat, water quality, and flood control for the future.
Awardees of the Anne Arundel County Forestry and Forested Land Protection Grant Program include:
Palisades Forest Tract, $97,672 for the permanent protection of 12.3 acres of mature mixed deciduous forest in Crownsville, Maryland, that includes 3.5 acres of forested wetlands. The entire property sits in the Critical Area on the Severn River and is in a Department of Natural Resources Targeted Ecological Area.
Herring Bay Forest Tract, $105,455 for the permanent protection of 31.6 acres of forested property in Tracy’s Landing, Maryland, that includes 28.2 acres of mature mixed deciduous forest and 2.8 acres of wetland. Most of the property is within the Critical Area and a significant portion of the property is identified as potential forest interior dwelling bird species habitat.
Cranberry Woods Forest Tract, $300,938 for the permanent protection of 93.3 acres of mature mixed deciduous forest in Crownsville, Maryland. The property has many unique features that made it particularly appropriate for this program: Part of the property is in the Critical Area, the property contains a Special State Concern Wetland and a Native American archeology site and the entire property is within a County Greenway, Department of Natural Resources Targeted Ecological Area, and a Sensitive Species Project Review Area.
The Trust and the County plan to offer these resources again soon to organizations and landowners. The grant program will re-open in October 2017 and will support three types of projects depending on whether the land in question is already forested or already protected under easement:
- Reforestation/Afforestation of lands already protected
- Protection of lands already forested
- Reforestation/Afforestation and protection of lands that are not currently under easement and not forested
This program supports costs associated with protecting properties that have high ecological benefit, are adjacent or in close proximity to land already protected under easement, and are located within close proximity to wetlands, streams, or the critical area. For more information please visit https://cbtrust.org/forestry-and-forested-land-protection/.