Annapolis, Maryland, residents often head out to Greenbury Point for a hike and to enjoy unspoiled nature, and it looks like they will be able to continue to do that after two competing bids forced the Navy to leave the site unchanged.
The 240-acre peninsula across the Severn River from the U.S. Naval Academy is under the academy’s control. They use it for various training exercises for midshipmen, but allow public access when they’re not using it.
Earlier this year, The Naval Academy Golf Association proposed turning the property into an 18-hole golf course. That was met with a public outcry hoping to keep the area undeveloped for wildlife, and to keep the Chesapeake Bay clean. More than 5,000 people signed an online petition to save the Point.
Last week, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman asked for a lease to turn Greenbury Point into a county-run park.
Now the Washington Naval District, which oversees the U.S. Naval Academy, said that the competing bids make it “no longer possible to consider either party’s request” for a noncompetitive lease.
“As of now, the Navy is not considering any sole-source lease proposals for Greenbury Point,” Naval District Washington Public Affairs Director Ed Zeigler said in a statement. “NSA Annapolis is currently evaluating the status and future of Greenbury Point in support of the mission of both the installation and the U.S. Naval Academy.”
The environmental community lauded the decision.
“We’re encouraged by the Navy’s action Monday,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation Maryland Executive Director Josh Kurtz in a statement. “Greenbury Point is a cherished green space in Annapolis and conserving it as a natural area helps improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.”