In 1969, the Maryland legislature, led by Senator Bill James from Harford County and Senator Jim Clark from Howard County, created Program Open Space. A masterpiece of sensible yet visionary leadership, Program Open Space collects a fraction (1/2 of 1%) of the transfer tax paid when Maryland residents sell a home or piece of property. The money goes into a DEDICATED fund to protect farmland, high-value natural lands, and parks and recreation needs in every county in the state.
The program is beautiful in its simplicity. It keeps pace with state growth and development while it tied together a strong coalition of rural and urban residents, farmers, and conservationists. Program Open Space makes the statement — for some land, the highest and best use is NOT development. Program Open Space is a solemn promise to our children’s children that parks and open land will exist for their children. Over the years, this program gained national renown. Continue reading