In 1997, the Rural Legacy Program was created as part of the state’s Smart Growth initiatives to protect large contiguous areas called Rural Legacy Areas, that will promote natural resource based industries, provide greenbelts, preserve critical habitats for native plant and wildlife species, and protect riparian forests and wetland.
This program is a joint partnership with Maryland Land Trust Alliance and Frederick County government. The efforts to apply for and create these protection areas were regional and included Montgomery and Washington Counties. Due to these efforts, 2 official Rural Legacy Areas were created in Frederick County, 1 in the Burkittsville Region and the other in the Adamstown Region. The team that worked on this project received recognition from the Maryland Chapter of American Planners Association in October 1998. Over 3,800 acres have been permanently preserved in Frederick County through the Rural Legacy Program.