This month, the Land Preservation Trust (LPT) recorded a conservation easement on the property purchased by the county for the new Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture on Shawan Road in Cockeysville. The $10 million facility offers training and services to Maryland farmers and provides demonstrations for students and the general public.
An easement on the property was promised as part of the master plan for the farm park and resource center; however, two years after the opening in 2010, the conservation easement had not yet materialized. Members of the non-profit programming board associated with the Center, the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC), along with the VPC and other local groups, repeatedly pressed the county to follow through on the easement. A long stalemate ensued after the County requested language changes that were unacceptable to the State partners. Thanks to the perserverance of MARC board member Dan Colhoun, and cooperation from partners in the County and State, the easement document was finally agreed upon and recorded.
The conservation easement ensures that the 149-acre property will remain in open space uses in perpetuity. A 20-acre section of the property housing the Center buildings and parking areas is not subject to the easement.