Maryland expands legacy area

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Farms and farmland in Washington County are about to get a boost.

The state of Maryland has awarded the county $1.6 million for their Rural Legacy Program and approved an over 12,000-acre expansion of its Rural Legacy Area.

Rural Legacy is a conservation easement program funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that works to permanently preserve agriculturally, environmentally and historically significant properties near Antietam Battlefield and its surrounding areas.

The county settled its first Rural Legacy easement in 2000 and has accrued more than 7,000 permanently preserved acres through the program since.

Qualifying properties must lie within the County’s designated Rural Legacy Area, have an Agricultural assessment designation, and have development rights to sell.

The program is administered locally through the Washington County Department of Planning and Zoning.