Two conservation easements were recently acquired in southern St. Mary’s County.

Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development announced that it added two parcels totaling over 236 acres.

The pristine, forested property is located between routes 5 and 235 in the Ridge/Dameron area, a press release states.

The easements were funded by Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program, St. Mary’s County’s Land Preservation Program and the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program.

RC&D worked with each of the funding partners and the landowners to bring the project to fruition.

“This property is absolutely beautiful. Placing it in preservation will protect scenic views in the southern part of the county as well as important biodiversity and habitat. Limiting development near the base is another huge benefit,” said Cindy Greb, executive director of RC&D.

The property is south of Naval Air Station Patuxent River and beneath U.S. Navy airspace used for aircraft testing and training.

The easements are jointly held by RC&D and the Navy.

RC&D will be responsible for monitoring the property each year to ensure compliance. The acquisition brings RC&D’s total co-held easements in the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area to 19, covering over 2,117 acres.

RC&D continues to seek landowners interested in preserving property within the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area as well as the Calvert Creeks Rural Legacy Area in Calvert County.

Interested landowners can contact Caroline King, program manager, at 240-577-6413 or caroline.king@somdrcd.org.

Southern Maryland RC&D is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust. Contributions to support its land preservation efforts may be made at somdrcd.org.

CALEB M. SOPTELEAN

CALEB M. SOPTELEAN