Annapolis, MD (March 16, 2007) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold today announced that the County will submit a proposal to the U.S. Department of the Navy to keep the Gambrills dairy farm agricultural.
The submission is in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) announced by the Navy in January for parties to enter into a lease agreement. County Executive Leopold said his vision for the 857-acre property is to keep it a working farm that is open to the general public. The County would also like to add features such as Community Gardens that residents can farm themselves, a walkable botanical garden, a program for students to learn about agriculture and botany, and community events like hay rides and festivals.
"This farm is located at the epicenter of growth and development in West County, with ties to the agricultural heritage that proceeds us," County Executive Leopold said. "As a park, this gem is the perfect site for a facility everyone can enjoy. I hope the Navy will agree that the agricultural integrity of the property must remain intact and not be replaced by a mining operation or some other invasive use."
The proposal calls for a long-term lease with the county. Other potential features proposed for the property include a solar energy farm, a farm museum, pick-your-own produce and holiday events like the corn maze.
In a letter of support for the County’s proposal to Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, District 4 County Council member Jamie Benoit Jr. said the desires of his constituents are unmistakably clear: "The residents want to continue farming on the Dairy Farm. Anne Arundel County’s proposal will do just that."