Board of Public Works Approves Cecil County Acquisition of 460-Acre Parcel Set to Become Bohemia River State Park

June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved a Maryland Department of Natural Resources item to acquire 460 acres in Cecil County for the future development of a new state park.

The new water-access site, located near Chesapeake City, will complement existing Maryland Park Service properties in the area: Elk Neck, Fair Hill and Sassafras.

“This unique acquisition accomplishes two important objectives: ecological and recreational,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “It conserves a large riparian forest on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and provides a new public access point, right on the water. We envision that Bohemia River State Park will provide numerous opportunities for conservation and recreation.”

Featuring 14,000 linear feet of frontage on the Bohemia River, the gentle slopes descending to the water will provide multiple access points for canoeing, fishing, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. Shaded open meadows, overlooking the confluence of creeks, will provide a scenic location for birding, hiking, picnicking, and general nature-based observation and recreation.

In addition, the property’s network of riparian forests and tidal and nontidal wetlands will provide for habitat restoration and water quality benefits. The property also contains existing agricultural land, which will likely continue being farmed.

Once the acquisition is complete (probably by this fall), the department will develop an interim public access plan for the property, which will enable visitors to enjoy passive, nature-based activities until a master plan can be developed. Public access to the new park should begin next spring or summer. The public will have numerous opportunities to comment on the master plan as it is being drafted.

The acquisition of OBX Farms was made possible through a partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and was fully funded by Program Open Space, which preserves natural areas for public recreation, and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland.

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