State set to buy parcel, add it to Wye Island park
WYE MILLS — Plans are in the works for the state to buy a 20-acre parcel to add to the Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area, possibly providing more services for boaters and rentals of space for special events.
The sale of the property is pending and expected to cost just under $1.2 million, according to Gregg Bortz, public information officer for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the state Board of Public Works approved the funds.
The Maryland Park Service, which manages the Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area, will determine if any future improvements are to be made.
The new site now has two piers on the Wye River that can be used for motorized and non-motorized watercraft. “That’s what is considered an improved access (currently ready for use) as opposed to unimproved access, which just means that some kind of water recreational use is possible in the future,” Bortz said.
Also on the new location is a house that could be used as part of an existing conference and rental complex at Wye Island. Already, there’s a lodge and grounds available to rent for meetings, retreats, company picnics, family reunions, and weddings and receptions. The conference lodge is located on Granary Creek just off the Wye East River.
The Park Service will determine best uses once the sale is closed and the property officially becomes part of the Wye River NRMA.
Wye Island NRMA is located in the tidal recesses of the Chesapeake Bay between the Wye River and the Wye East River. Of Wye Island’s 2,800 acres, 2,450 are managed by the state for resource management, recreation and agriculture.
A major emphasis at Wye Island is to provide suitable habitat for wintering waterfowl populations and other native wildlife.
A primar y resource management objective at Wye Island is the stabilization of the 30 miles of ever-eroding shoreline. These efforts are accomplished through a partnership between DNR and numerous environmental advocacy groups, such as the Chesapeake Bay Trust, schools and scout groups.
The Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area will be expanded when the state purchases land near it.