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Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area Expands

Photo of Haentze propertyThe Board of Public Works today unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquisition of 191 acres in Kent County as an addition to Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area, which is adjacent to the property.

The site features rolling farmland and mature forests as well as 1 mile of accessible shoreline along the Sassafras River and Lloyd Creek.

“The department continues to seek out opportunities to create and expand public access to our waterways, and this property, located along the banks of the scenic and spectacular Sassafras River, fits the bill,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Expanding upon existing state land will help us better protect a targeted ecologically-sensitive area and habitat while expanding recreational activities, including birding, boating and hiking.”

The property includes nontidal and tidal wetlands, and important riparian forest habitat. It is also adjacent to several diverse submerged aquatic vegetation beds, which are used by a variety of commercial and recreational fish species, including largemouth bass.

The Maryland Park Service will expand the current nine mile trail system at Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area and designate new readily-available and accessible water access points as part of its management plan.

Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area provides passive, nature-based recreation opportunities, including biking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and paddling. The area is also the site of an historic, federal style house circa 1796 known as Knocks Folly. The Sassafras Environmental Education Center operates at the park, providing programming for youth organizations and schools under a partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

The Program Open Space acquisition was conducted in partnership with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.