Howard County Signs Camp Ilchester Purchase Agreement
On June 17th, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, joined by Senator Chris Van Hollen, state and local officials, and community members celebrated the completion of the purchase agreement for Camp Ilchester. The County Executive’s proposal to include $6 million in the budget to acquire the 21-acre property from the Girls Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) was approved by the County Council in May.
Camp Ilchester will be preserved as a green space. The purchase keeps up to 105 housing units out of the development pipeline and expands recreational program offerings to Howard County residents. Potential uses of the Camp include sports programs, outdoor adventure camps, active aging activities, and a nature center with nature-based educational programming.
“Spaces like Camp Ilchester make up the fabric of our community – connecting neighbors and friends and allowing more of our residents’ close access to nature,” said Ball.
The Camp Ilchester purchase continues the Ball Administration’s efforts to preserve land for environmental and agricultural purposes. In December 2020, County Executive Ball closed on the Savage remainder property. The five-acre Savage parcel is noteworthy for its environmental significance as a State of Maryland designated Targeted Ecological Area. The acquisition saved the parcel from proposed development, preserving the property instead for outdoor recreation and open space.
County Executive Ball also re-opened the Agricultural Land Preservation Program (ALPP) in June 2019 and in October 2021, he announced the addition of the 128-acre Dickey Farm. This action preserved the largest remaining farm in the rural west of Howard County and marked one of the largest single additions to agricultural preservation in over a decade.
The purchase of Camp Ilchester is the most recent acquisition that shows the Ball Administration’s commitment to preserving agricultural land and green spaces.
“I want to thank the girl scouts, our volunteers, all those past and present, who have really gotten us to this point,” said GSCM CEO Violet Apple. “Camp Ilchester is in safe hands, and it will remain green.”
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