On Tuesday, January 3 the Easton Town Council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 793, which authorizes moving forward with the purchase of Easton Woodland Park. Easton Woodland Park is a 197-acre parcel of land on the eastern side of Oxford Road, near Cooke’s Hope.
The Town of Easton is acquiring this land in order to preserve the allotted area, and to provide an enjoyable recreational space for its citizens. The property would become the largest public park in Easton, and features natural trails through wooded areas. The Town currently has several community parks with sports fields and/or playground equipment for active use, but only one other community park for passive use, John F. Ford Park, which is not wooded.
Mayor Bob Willey noted “This park will be a great benefit to the town and a wonderful place for families to enjoy for years to come. It is a unique opportunity to preserve pristine woodland that once gone we would never see again. We have a chance to protect the land, help the town, and improve the quality of life for all residents.”
The Easton Woodland Park acquisition would serve to protect the plot from future development, safeguard native plant and animal species, and would satisfy a significant portion of the restoration requirements for Maryland’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. The MS4 Permit aims to advance Chesapeake Bay restoration while reducing flooding and making communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.
Town Engineer Rick VanEmburgh stated “Easton Woodland Park is a fantastic opportunity to preserve Easton’s woodlands, and to meet some of the requirements necessary for MS4 program compliance.”
The Woodland Park lot is being sold by Alliance Development Corporation to the Town of Easton for the amount of $5,095,000. For the purchase of the land, the Town of Easton has applied for a Program Open Space grant that would partner them with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Talbot County. If approved, the Program Open Space grant would cover more than 96% of the expenses.
Formally recognized in 1710 by the Province of Maryland, Easton is the county seat of Talbot County. Encompassing over 11 square miles including almost two dozen public parks and open spaces, the town has a growing population of over 17,000 residents. For more information please visit: eastonmd.gov.