Smart Growth Maryland and our partners in the Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County are supporting a proposed expansion of the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area, as well as creation of a new Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area in 2020.

Show Your Support: The County Commissioners took comments on this proposal at a public hearing on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. If you were unable to make the hearing, but would still like to comment, you can do so through October 8, 2019.

Make a Comment

Created in 1997, Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program has preserved 86,103 acres of valuable forests, farmland, and natural areas. Every Maryland county includes at least one Rural Legacy Area. As a member of the Partners for Open Space steering committee, Preservation Maryland advocates for full funding for Rural Legacy and other land conservation programs every year during the legislative session in Annapolis.

Charles County’s Zekiah Rural Legacy Area encompasses what has been described by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as the most diverse ecosystem in the State. Containing Maryland’s largest natural hardwood swamp, the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area is also rich in historic and archeological sites. The proposed expansion will allow landowners in the Allen’s Fresh and Cobb Neck areas to be eligible for Rural Legacy funding to preserve their properties.

Western Charles County includes Southern Maryland’s largest forest and Mattawoman Creek, which State fisheries biologists have called “the best, most productive tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.” Because of the abundance of ecological, working, and historic resources in Western Charles County, the Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2016 calls for the creation of a new Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area.

If you were unable to attend the County Commissioners’ public hearing on September 24, you can still voice your support for expansion of the Zekiah Rural Legacy Area and creation of the Nanjemoy-Mattawoman Rural Legacy Area.

add your voice

Comments may also be emailed to the County Commissioners at:,,,,


add your voice