Bill Kilby and Alisa Webb proudly stand with Governor Larry Hogan and other recipients of the Rural Legacy Grant
Annapolis, MD – On Wednesday, August 22, in the state’s capital, Cecil Land Trust (CLT) received a grant of 1.6 million dollars for the 2019 Rural Legacy Land Preservation program. The grant funds will be used to permanently protect farm and forest lands in the 31,000-acre Fair Hill Rural Legacy Area (FHRLA). These 2019 Rural Legacy funds target farms actively working to protect the health of Cecil County streams through Cecil Land Trust’s streambank restoration projects.
Permanently conserving the farmlands that surround restored streams means that stream water will remain clean.
“Coupling two important projects like streambank restoration that keeps water clean and protecting farmland through the Rural Legacy Land Preservation program makes efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” affirms Bill Kilby, CLT Board President, “and provides maximum results toward the goal of keeping Cecil County’s farmlands, waters, and farm economy thriving.”
“Since taking office, we have invested over $600 million in Program Open Space and other land conservation and preservation efforts, and this year we are proud to be fully funding all of the programs as part of the historic $4 billion investment in the Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our Rural Legacy Program is a critical piece in our work to protect and preserve our land for the greatest benefit for our state and the people who live and work here, which will protect this culturally significant site for years to come.”
CLT is now wrapping up the 2018 grant cycle. This year CLT has targeted over 700 acres of prime farm and forestland in the FHRLA. In addition to promoting conservation values like buffered stream corridors, protected wildlife habitat, and sustained forestlands, CLT encourages farmers on conserved lands to farm using no or minimum tillage and to employ cover crops that protect against soil erosion and act as a carbon sink.
“CLT is proud that Cecil County farmers have been leaders in conservation farming,” states
farmer and member of CLT’s Board, Doug Megee, Jr.
By combining land conservation through the Rural Legacy Land Preservation program, stream restoration through funding from the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Trust Funds, and conservation carbon farming through permanently protecting farmlands, CLT ensures that Marylanders’ tax dollars are well spent and that Cecil County’s lands and water can be healthy now and into the future.