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Board of Public Works Approves Expansion of Two State Parks

Acres Added to Merkle Natural Resources Management Area and New Germany State Park

Merkle Natural Resources Management Area

The Board of Public Works today approved two Maryland Department of Natural Resources items that seek to expand two existing state parks, one in Southern Maryland and the other in Western Maryland.

Program Open Space funds will go toward the purchase of 33 acres adjacent to Merkle Natural Resources Management Area in Prince George’s County and five acres adjoining New Germany State Park in Garrett County.

The acquisitions will expand educational and recreational opportunities, and protect important watersheds.

“By leveraging Program Open Space funding, we can enhance and expand our state park offerings for our citizens and visitors,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “These two acquisitions will buffer existing state properties while increasing recreational opportunities and restoring wildlife habitat.”

The Prince George’s County property contains fields, a pond, a stream bed and woodlands. The acquisition will improve state park boundaries, expand trail connections and recreational opportunities.

The Garrett County property is in the Poplar Lick sub-basin of the Savage River Watershed, the last intact watershed supporting native brook trout populations in Maryland. Brook trout, highly valuable for biological, cultural, economic and recreational reasons, are generally found in the state’s more pristine and remote areas.