The M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County Finalizes Momentous Acquisition of Over 500 Acres of Forested Land

January 9, 2024


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 The M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County Finalizes Momentous Acquisition of Over 500 Acres of Forested Land

Riverdale, MD – The Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), announces the acquisition of 537 acres of forested land in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Covering nearly a square mile, the acquisition adds to the Charles Branch Stream Valley Park and is a testament to the Department’s commitment to protecting and enhancing open space in the county.

The acquisition is one of the most significant in Prince George’s County, and the largest land purchase in recent history through the Department’s Capital Improvement Program. In alignment with the goals outlined in Plan Prince George’s 2035 – the approved general plan for the County – the acquisition of land located west of the Patuxent River near Jug Bay and east of Maryland Route 301 secures the protection of forested land, safeguards critical wildlife habitats, enhances recreational opportunities, preserves the rural character of the area, and restores natural and manmade ecosystems. Ensuring the continued conservation of important wildlife habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species, the acquisition of this conservation parkland area marks a significant step forward.

“This purchase reflects the mission and vision of Parks and Recreation by ensuring the continued sustainable management of the county’s green spaces, protecting and enhancing natural resources for the community’s benefit, education, and enjoyment for present and future generations,” says Bill Tyler, Director of the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County.

The Department is dedicated to protecting the rich tapestry of this conservation parkland area, a natural haven known for its stunning landscapes, rural character, historical resources, and natural habitat. By strategically implementing conservation initiatives and embracing a profound sense of responsibility, the Department is unwavering in its commitment to preserve and safeguard the inherent value of this land.

 “We are proud of this momentous acquisition as we are bringing a square mile of conservation parkland to the residents of Prince George’s County and making a significant impact on the health and sustainability of the county and the region,” says Peter A. Shapiro, Chair of the Prince George’s County Planning Board and M-NCPPC.

The acquisition of this conservation parkland reinforces M-NCPPC’s longstanding commitment to preserve, enhance, and restore the county’s rich natural areas and critical ecosystems as outlined in multiple guiding documents: Plan Prince George’s 2035, the Department’s Formula 2040, the Priority Preservation Area Functional Master Plan, and Prince George’s County Climate Action Plan. The acquisition increases the protection of Prince George’s biodiversity at the species, natural community, and landscape level in Upper Marlboro, and increases the amount of natural forestland available for sustainable management of natural resources. The preservation of this expansive natural treasure is made possible through the invaluable support of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space, demonstrating a collaborative effort to ensure the well-being of our community and enhancement of our local environment. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, this forested land in Upper Marlboro annually provides approximately $1.1 million in value of ecosystems services. This includes providing critical water quality protection, carbon sequestration, temperature moderation, air quality improvement, and habitat connectivity to the Patuxent River.

“This dedicated conservation parkland area in Upper Marlboro is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the county,” says Sonja Ewing, AICP, Chief of Park Planning and Environmental Stewardship at the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation. “Protecting this landscape not only benefits rare native plants and wildlife, but also preserves natural systems and provides exciting new recreational opportunities. We remain driven to continue conservation and environmental stewardship efforts for Prince George’s residents.”

Given the size of this new park, the Department is excited to plan for a future premier destination conservation park and is considering a natural surface trail system and other suitable recreational opportunities. The site will provide a destination point for resource-based recreation users, such as hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and birdwatchers.

About the Department

With over 28,000 acres of parkland, trails, athletic fields, playgrounds and more, the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County provides an award-winning park system through progressive, quality, innovative leadership and a commitment to its community and environment. The Department delivers first-class recreational activities and programs for people of all ages and ability levels. It strives to improve the quality of life for residents in Prince George’s County and the communities in which they live, work, and raise families. The Department’s Formula 2040 Plan establishes a framework that will assure the Department can meet future parks and recreation programmatic and facility needs, fulfilling its mission to determine the combination of land, facilities and programs that will provide appropriate experiences for Prince Georgians in the future.   


Founded in 1927, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is a nationally recognized leader in land use planning, parks, and recreation achieving countless awards for innovation, stewardship, and exemplary vision for enhancing the lives of current and future generations of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. The agency improves the well-being of over two million residents and countless visitors within its area by planning the coordinated and harmonious physical growth and development of the region; protecting and stewarding natural, cultural, and historical resources; providing an award-winning system of parks; creating recreational experiences that enhance the quality of life of all individuals; and planning great communities that are vibrant, livable, accessible, and sustainable.