WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced a $950,000 matching National Parks Service (NPS) grant through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The state will use this grant to create a 10-mile long natural connective corridor for public recreation between Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, Frederick Municipal Forest and Gambrill State Park in Frederick County. The new parcels will provide additional opportunities for hiking, biking, camping and fishing.
“Maryland’s wild and natural places are a treasure worth protecting so that we and future generations can enjoy. This acquisition of two new parcels of land will provide greater opportunities for people to enjoy all the natural beauty and geographic diversity that our state has to offer,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “By improving our state parks, this grant also will enhance our Mountain Maryland’s growing outdoor recreation and tourism industries and stimulate our economy.”
“This funding will help grow Frederick’s tourism economy and make an investment that will draw in new visitors to our states’ treasures,” said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies which funds the National Park System. “This grant will help preserve this beautiful natural area so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The Maryland DNR plans to acquire more than 382 acres to expand nature-based recreation opportunities. The acquisition will create a 10+ mile corridor allowing the public access to 21,000 additional acres of land. The corridor will include Catoctin Mountain Park, Thurmont Watershed, Cunningham Falls Park, Frederick Municipal Forest and Gambrill State Park, all of which are located in Frederick County.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a partnership program that provides matching funds to states and local communities for acquisition, development, and conservation of parks and open space. The program is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with state government. In addition to the $950,000 in federal dollars, Maryland will be contributing $1 million for a total cost of $1,950,000 for the project.