Egrets in flight at Mattawoman Creek in Charles County, Maryland. Photo by Dr. Jim Long.

Support for New and Expanded Rural Legacy Areas in Charles County

08/27/2019
By Smart Growth Maryland

Smart Growth Maryland and our partners in the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County are supporting a proposed expansion of the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area, as well as creation of a new Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area.

Show Your Support: The County Commissioners will take comments on this proposal at a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 6PM.

Created in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has preserved 86,103 acres of valuable forests, farmland, and natural areas. Every Maryland county includes at least one Rural Legacy Area. As a member of the Partners for Open Space steering committee, Preservation Maryland advocates for full funding for Rural Legacy and other land conservation programs every year during the legislative session in Annapolis.

Charles County’s Zekiah Rural Legacy Area encompasses what has been described by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as the most diverse ecosystem in the State. Containing Maryland’s largest natural hardwood swamp, the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area is also rich in historic and archeological sites. The proposed expansion will allow landowners in the Allen’s Fresh and Cobb Neck areas to be eligible for Rural Legacy funding to preserve their properties.

A lotus on Mattawoman Creek in Charles County, Maryland. Photo by Dr. Jim Long.

Western Charles County includes Southern Maryland’s largest forest and Mattawoman Creek, which State fisheries biologists have called “the best, most productive tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.” Because of the abundance of ecological, working, and historic resources in Western Charles County, the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2016 calls for the creation of a new Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area.

The County Commissioners public hearing on September 24 is a great opportunity to voice your support for expansion of the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area and creation of the Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area.

Comments may also be emailed to the County Commissioners at: CollinsR@charlescountymd.gov, CoatesT@charlescountymd.gov, BowlingB@charlescountymd.org, StewartA@charlescountymd.gov, RucciB@charlescounty.org.

LETTER OF SUPPORT (PDF)

ATTEND THE HEARING

Smart Growth Maryland

Smart Growth Maryland is a major program of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.

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