Howard County Launches Land Conservation Program for Non-Profits

July 2022

On July 12th Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced and committed $2 million to a new land conservation program with the Howard County Conservancy.

“Preservation is core to our mission and the reason the Conservancy was founded 32 years ago by a group of concerned citizens,” said Howard County Conservancy Board Vice Chair Lisa Marini.

This Purchased Conservation Easement program is the first of its kind in the state of Maryland, targeting non-profit property owners and providing financial incentives to permanently preserve environmentally significant properties.

“This program makes environmental preservation a viable option for properties that previously did not qualify for conservation programs,” said Howard County Conservancy Executive Director Meg Boyd.

The program is modeled after the county’s Agricultural Preservation Program which has resulted in the preservation of nearly 23,000 acres of farmland over the past 40 years. County Executive Ball relaunched the program in 2019 and in 2021 secured the preservation of the 128-acre Dickey Farm.

The Purchased Conservation Easement program launch emphasizes County Executive Ball’s commitment to preserving land that provides clear agricultural, environmental, and community benefits.

“We will always look for bold solutions, backed by science, to combat climate change and preserve Howard County’s legacy for future generations,” said Ball. “We now have a new tool to identify sensitive land and preserve it for the future.”