On January 28, 2009, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved Program Open Space funds to preserve some of the state’s most historic lands: five parcels — located in the counties of Cecil (Old Bohemia), Charles (Cedar Point), Worcester (Foster) and St. Mary’s (New Towne Neck & St. Inigoes) — that collectively represent 4,473 acres.
These lands include nearly 20 miles of Potomac River waterfront, offering Marylanders more access to the Chesapeake Bay and new recreational and educational opportunities along the John Smith Chesapeake Trail. In addition to Captain Smith, Native American communities, early Catholic leaders and Maryland’s very founders traveled or lived on these lands and waters.
Safeguarding and restoring this mix of woodlands, wetlands and meadows creates a haven for a variety of native wildlife, enhances the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and provides new opportunity for public recreation, including boating, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and horseback riding.
Owned for centuries by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Roman Catholic Jesuit Order, these parcels had become available for sale. By approving the lands’ purchase with Program Open Space funds – a dedicated source of conservation support – the Board of Public Works has ensured that generations of Marylanders will experience this outdoor legacy. Chesapeake Conservancy was a core advocate of protecting this land.