HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (WJZ) — A major land purchase completed in Harford County will allow visitors to explore all the historic Oakington Peninsula has to offer.

After nearly 20 years in the making, county and state officials on Thursday marked the milestone multimillion-dollar purchase of the land along the Chesapeake Bay.

“It is clearly one of the most significant land purchases that Harford County has had in decades,” County Executive Barry Glassman said.

Thanks to a partnership between the state, Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Harford Land Trust, the nearly $6 million purchase of Belle Vue Farm in Havre de Grace became a reality.

The 347-acre property that dates back to pre-Revolutionary times sits between Tydings Park and Swan Harbor Farm along the bay. It will now be preserved and turned into a county park.

“I think the environmental significance of these types of properties, of course, are under tremendous development pressure,” Glassman said.

Officials said the historic farm was the “missing piece” to preserving 1,250 acres on the Oakington Peninsula. Glassman called it a “crown jewel.”

With the property owners dating back to 1661, county leaders hope the land serves as a learning tool for the state of Maryland and beyond.

Even 100 years in the future, the land will stand as it does today, Glassman said.

“It will be one of the areas that has a tremendous population of different Maryland varieties of birds to come and study,” he said. “Eventually, you’ll hopefully be able to kayak and look at the property from the bay.”

Planning on potential trails will begin soon, as will studying the environment to get a better understanding of what would be the best fit for the property.

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