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Scenic Rivers Land Trust Stewardship Coordinator Lindsay Smith gathering baseline photos of newly conserved forest in Crownsville. Photo: Sarah Knebel

70+ Forested Acres Protected Along South River Tributary

In densely-populated Anne Arundel County, Md., a nearly-71-acre forested property is now protected from future development—good news for the South River watershed.

Scenic Rivers Land Trust secured a conservation easement for 70.9 acres along the North River, which feeds into the South River, in Crownsville. The property is a largely-forested portion of the landowner’s family farm. Not only will the easement eliminate development rights, it will help ensure the land remains in the family, Scenic Rivers says.

The wooded property is home to 66 acres of mature forest, noted as a “Green Infrastructure Hub and Targeted Ecological Area” by Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It’s also part of the South River Greenway Important Bird Area named by Audubon.

Another five acres of fields will be planted with trees in the spring, funded through the same program, and there are six acres of wetlands and 2,500 linear feet of stream on the property as well.

The conservation easement was paid for with a grant program from Anne Arundel County, administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

“We are excited to be expanding Anne Arundel County’s network of protected lands,” said Scenic Rivers Executive Director Sarah Knebel. “The importance of our wild and open spaces is not lost on anyone this year. Clean air, healthy waterways, and places of beauty and relaxation are so important to the health of our communities.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano