The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has announced the second recipient of the State of Maryland’s Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, designed to rehabilitate formerly government-owned properties for economic and community development purposes. The redevelopment of Fort Ritchie in Washington County will receive a state tax credit worth up to $15 million for the comprehensive redevelopment and reuse at the historic site of the former military base.
BALTIMORE (December 22, 2022) – After nearly two years of dedicated advocacy, Preservation Maryland and its national program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, is pleased to announce that the Frederick Jobs and Historic Preservation Training Center Land Acquisition Act was included in the recently passed year-end government spending bill and is expected to be immediately signed into law by President Biden. The legislation was sponsored by Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and by Congressman Trone in the House of Representatives.
The legislation, which was initially drafted by Preservation Maryland advocacy staff, provides the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center, located in Frederick, Maryland, with the congressional authority to acquire up to 20 acres to build out a fully functioning center for historic trades training. The vastly increased footprint will also permit the Center to expand and host more trainees in Frederick and around the nation.
In addition to leading the advocacy effort, Preservation Maryland President and CEO Nicholas Redding also testified before Congress in November of 2021 in support of its passage, alongside leading preservation and conservationists. Redding’s testimony before a congressional committee was a first in the organization’s history.
While a simple bill, its passage in one congress was anything but certain. Common sense preservation legislation often languishes, as leading national preservation groups know all too well. Fortunately, Preservation Maryland’s persistence coupled with tremendous congressional sponsorship in Maryland Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Congressmen Trone and their respective staff, led to its passage in the 117th Congress.
Nicholas Redding, Preservation Maryland President, and CEO, explained,
“Tackling federal legislation is perhaps the most complex advocacy goal for a statewide organization – it’s a task that confounds even the most sophisticated national organizations – so for Preservation Maryland to take the lead on this effort and see it through in one Congress is something to be celebrated.” Redding continued, “This legislation isn’t just about buying land – it’s about investing in our communities and building a workforce equal to the opportunity before us.”
With passage secured, the next phase of the complex project begins. Fortunately, the property has been identified and is owned by the City of Frederick, which is both a willing seller and partner. As the project develops, Preservation Maryland will update its followers and partners on opportunities to get engaged and supportive of the work ahead.
A special thank you to our partner the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) and its superintendent Moss Rudley for their continued partnership.
The scenic and pristine Mattawoman Creek. Chesapeake Bay Program.
Maryland’s Preliminary FY24 Budget Recommends Replenishing Program Open Space
12/19/2022 By Dana Cohen
The State of Maryland recently announced the preliminary FY24 budget, including $102 million to fully replenish Program Open Space, eight years ahead of schedule to accelerate land conservation projects. Although still preliminary, Preservation Maryland is pleased to see support for a program we have long championed through our advocacy work and our Smart Growth program.
Investing in Maryland’s Future
Funding for Program Open Space also means an investment in Maryland’s economic future. Outdoor recreation, including walking at historic sites and at state and local parks, is a proven economic driver for Maryland, with funds generated from within the community as well as from visitors coming to Maryland specifically for recreational activities and historic experiences.
In the newly released preliminary budget, Governor Hogan recommends fully replenishing Program Open Space, 8 years ahead of the scheduled repayment plan. After years of raiding, we applaud the governor for fully reinvesting in protecting one of Marylands most important resources
In 1969, the Maryland General Assembly created Program Open Space through the institution of a transfer tax of 0.5 percent on every real estate transaction in the state. Since then the program has been responsible for:
More than 319,000 acres of open space for state parts and natural resource areas,
Creation and funding of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority & heritage area grants,
More than 6,100 individual county and municipal parks and conservation areas,
More than 31,000 acres of local park land,
35 Rural Legacy areas, preserving more than 85,000 acres,
At least 286,000 acres of farmland under Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) easement.
As an award-winning communications professional who creates and manages strategic campaigns, Dana works with our team and partners to tell the stories about our important preservation work and highlight what makes Maryland’s historic buildings, communities, and landscapes special.