Representatives from Harford County Government, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford Land Trust, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the landowner Thursday announced the $6.27 million purchase of 347 acres of Belle Vue Farm in Havre de Grace for a future park.
The property includes 1 mile of Chesapeake Bay coastline and 60 acres in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area.
Operated by the same family since well before the American Revolution, Belle Vue Farm was the only undeveloped and unpreserved area of privately-owned Chesapeake Bay shoreline in Harford County. The land is rich in natural and cultural resources and is contiguous with public parkland at Swan Harbor Farm to its north and Eleanor and Millard Tydings Park to the south. It was the missing puzzle piece to a total of 1,250 acres of preserved land on the Oakington Peninsula, including a total of two and a half miles of coastline.
Harford County and the Harford Land Trust have tried for decades to acquire the property, which was once marketed for high intensity development. The purchase price will be paid by a combination of local and state Program Open State funding and funding from Aberdeen Proving Ground in partnership with the Harford Land Trust.
Next steps will include historic and environmental studies to guide planning for recreational and educational uses. These include a potential extension of the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway from Havre de Grace south to Oakington Peninsula.