The Technical Work Group identified parkland acquisition as a critical component of long-term protection for the Paint Branch. While parkland provides the highest level of protection, it is also the most expensive form of protection. Consequently, parkland acquisition was reserved for only the most critical areas needing protection.
In 1995 the Montgomery County Council approved a Limited Master Plan Amendment significantly expanding parkland in the Good Hope and Gum Springs sub-watersheds, the most important spawning and nursery tributaries for the wild brown trout population. This new parkland provides riparian buffers, protects groundwater recharge areas and other natural features, and preserves natural habitat.
Since January 1996, over 372 acres of new parkland have been purchased or put under contract by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, at a cost of $14.5 million. Approximately half of this funding is from the State of Maryland, with the remainder from local government. The Technical Work Group also recommended similar parkland acquisitions in the Left Fork, Right Fork, and Main Stem sub-watersheds for the purpose of environmental protection.
While significant parkland acquisition has been made in the Good Hope and Gum Springs sub-watersheds, only a fraction of the recommended parkland acquisitions in the Left and Right Fork sub-watersheds have been made.