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Serpentine Preserved

Legacy Open Space protects the rare area.

More than 250 acres of rare habitat in Potomac are now part of the county’s legacy.

County officials, joined by a representative from West Montgomery County Citizens Association, announced the purchase of the Serpentine Barrens.

“This is one of our county’s natural crown jewels,” said Councilmember Howard Denis (R-1), who represents most of Potomac.

“We have to continue to fund legacy open space,” said Ginny Barnes, environmental chair for the West Montgomery County Citizens Association.

The ecologically unique area along Piney Meetinghouse Road is being purchased for just over $9 million under the county’s Legacy Open Space. The first installment was made last December, future installments are due in July of this year and each of the next four years. “Montgomery County has never backed out of a signed contract,” said Brenda Sandberg, Legacy Open Space program manager.

The area has a rare soil condition which allows only particular plants to survive. It is home to 22 rare, threatened and endangered species said Park and Planning Commission Chair Derick Berlage. Trees 100 years old are only four to six feet tall in some cases.