Two-Year Golf Course Acquisition Process Completed; State Park To Grow By 212 Acres

SNOW HILL – Pocomoke River State Park will increase in size with the addition of what was once the Nassawango Golf Course.

More than two years after the process began the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has completed its acquisition of 212 acres in Worcester County. The addition includes the former Nassawango Golf Course with 1,400 linear feet of shoreline on the Pocomoke River.

“We’re very excited,” Ranger Curtis Dale said. “It’s a unique opportunity to add a new park property.”

The property, which cost $1.8 million, was acquired with Program Open Space funds and consists of two parcels near Snow Hill. The Board of Public Works unanimously approved the acquisition in November.

According to DNR, the purchase provides for permanent conservation of significant natural resources including riparian forest along the Pocomoke River and a three-acre pond with waterfowl habitat.

“This acquisition is a significant opportunity to expand protected lands in Worcester County and to restore a former golf course to a natural landscape,” said Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina. “The property’s proximity to the Pocomoke River and Pocomoke State Forest present a great opportunity to preserve a very large tract of ecologically important lands and also provide interpretive and recreational experiences to Maryland residents and visitors. We look forward to initiating restoration work on this property and expanding access to this unique and beautiful region of the Lower Eastern Shore.”

Dale said the restoration work would essentially include giving the property back to nature, ensuring native species were planted and providing responsible stewardship of the property. Eventually, the land is expected to provide an additional access point for the Pocomoke River Water Trail and expand recreational opportunities for hiking, biking and the like.

“We’re still early on,” Dale said.

He added that a strategic management plan for the property, which will include recreational access and trail development planning, was under development. Public input will be solicited during that process.

“People can weigh in and say what they think it should be,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.