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County News

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Cecil County Accepting Applications For Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation

Post Date:01/29/2018 12:52 PM

January 29, 2018

ELKTON, MD -- Cecil County Government is excited to announce that applications to sell an agricultural easement to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) are now being accepted by the Department of Land Use & Development Services.

MALPF is the State funded easement program in which over 14,750 acres of farmland have been preserved in Cecil County alone. Created by the General Assembly in 1977, MALPF purchases agricultural preservation easements that restrict development on prime farmland and woodland in perpetuity. The program has permanently preserved land in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, representing a public investment of more than $645 million. With county and other state preservation programs, more than 800,000 acres of farmland and resource land are protected by easements in Maryland. This is the greatest ratio of farmland preserved to total landmass of any state.

In order to qualify for a MALPF easement a property must have 50 contiguous acres, a majority of productive quality soils, be located outside of the boundaries of the 10-year master water & sewer plan, and have a valid Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plan filed with the Soil Conservation District. 

The application is quite extensive, and staff from the Department of Land Use & Development Services will provide assistance to landowners. Please contact Stephen J. O’Connor, AICP no later than April 27, 2018 with your intentions to apply, so that there is adequate time to prepare the application. For landowners that have applied in prior years, a new application must be submitted each application cycle to be considered for the sale of an agricultural easement.

In order to assist you in the decision making process for your MALPF application, several handouts with further details about the choices on the MALPF application are available on the County's website at

The Cecil County Department of Land Use & Development Services continues to work toward the 55,000 acre agricultural preservation goal set in 2000. 27,549 acres have been placed into protective agricultural easement or approved by the Board of Public Works with an additional 3,926 acres that have started the process of agricultural land protection. Additionally, 22,509 acres of Cecil County land is owned by the federal, state, county, or town government. This includes the newly acquired Bohemia River State Park. Presently, there are 50,034 acres of Cecil County land that is protected from development.

For more information regarding the MALPF program, please visit For more information regarding land preservation in Cecil County, please contact Stephen J. O'Connor, AICP in the Department of Land Use & Development Services at 410-996-5220 or by email at


Jennifer Lyall
Public Information Officer

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