Governor Hogan’s newly released FY21 budget includes full funding for Program Open Space, as well as repayment of funds from the program that had been previously diverted.

Partners for Open Space LogoUpon this news, Partners for Open Space, a statewide coalition of over 100 groups seeking to secure, save and protect Maryland’s land conservation programs, praised the support for land conservation, heritage and historic resources, and environmental protections in a press release, stating:

“We applaud Governor Hogan for his continued, steadfast support for land conservation and public recreation in Maryland, as reflected in his proposed FY21 budget. For the third year in a row, Program Open Space and related programs funded through the real estate transfer tax will receive full funding. These programs enhance and protect quality of life for all Marylanders by conserving the state’s natural places and landscapes, by supporting state and local parks, and by preserving our agricultural heritage and historic sites and structures. Full funding will make the difference for a new community park, for the preservation of a family farm, for the health of current and future generations, and for the health of our environment.”

While Maryland’s Program Open Space is most often associated with the preservation of agricultural and natural landscapes, the program has also invested millions of dollars in protecting cultural landscapes, historic buildings and provides dedicated funding for the state’s twelve heritage areas. Preservation Maryland has served as a member of the executive committee of advocacy coalition since late 2014 and Executive Director Nicholas Redding served as the chair of Partners for Open Space.