Green Infrastructure Master Plan
**NEW: Draft Plan Available for Public Review**
The draft Green Infrastructure Master Plan and draft Network Map are available for public comment from Thursday, August 12, 2021 until midnight on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Please use the links below to view or download the draft Master Plan and companion Appendices. You can provide your comments via survey. The Office of Planning and Zoning has also launched an interactive map of the draft Green Infrastructure Network, linked below, which allows you to explore and post comments directly to the map. Please also watch the recording of the most recent virtual public forum, held on September 8, 2021:
- Master Plan: review the draft Green Infrastructure Master Plan
- Map: explore and comment on the draft Green Infrastructure Network Map. If you'd like to see how the map works in real time, check out this video.
- Submit Comments: click here to submit comments
- Appendix: review the draft Green Infrastructure Master Plan Appendices
- Watch the latest public forum: this forum was held September 8, 2021
(Click images to access draft Master Plan documents)
Planning Our Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure includes large, high-quality natural areas and the linear corridors that connect them. These areas include forests, streams, wetlands, and fields. Public ownership protects some areas, such as Federal, State, and County parks. Easements protect other areas that are privately owned. The Green Infrastructure network has many benefits. It improves water and air quality, supports plants and animals, and ensures that residents can continue to enjoy a green and healthy Anne Arundel County.
- How Will My Community Benefit?
Green Infrastructure supports scenic views, sustains healthy soils for farming, and provides for recreational trails. It also prevents damage from stormwater runoff and nourishes healthy watersheds and coastline. Some of the other ways in which Green Infrastructure serves you are:
- Supports wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing—a $1.3 billion dollar industry in Maryland.
- Increases tourism and expenditures on dining, lodging, and other services.
- Increases nearby property values by 10-20%.
- Preserves farmland for agricultural jobs, agritourism, and local food production.
- Supports clean streams and rivers which in turn support the maritime industry.
- Protects quality of surface and groundwater resources.
- Provides for plant and animal habitat and migration corridors.
- Creates an enjoyable sense of place by protecting natural features and scenic vistas.
- Helps mitigate effects of climate change such as poor air quality, nuisance flooding, and heat islands.
- Supports opportunities for active transportation.
- Provides space to walk, jog, hike, bike, ride horses, canoe, kayak, picnic, fish, hunt, and birdwatch, among other outdoor activities.
- Opportunity for outdoor exercise creates potential medical cost savings of approximately $1,100 per person per year
- What Counts As Green Infrastructure?
This planning process will identify Green Infrastructure "hubs" and "corridors." Hubs are large areas of forest and wetland—at least 250 acres—that buffer natural resources from more intensive land uses. Corridors are linear features at least 200 feet wide that connect hubs. The Plan will also identify areas of contiguous forest that are 75 acres and larger. Interconnectivity of these features supports plants, animal migration, and ecosystem health. Anne Arundel County's Green Infrastructure network includes all the following:
Natural and Cultural Assets
- Floodplains, wetlands, streams, and forests
- Unpaved trails, water trails, and water access points
- Historic and cultural resources
- Federal, State, and County lands acquired for preservation
- Land Trusts
- HOA Parcels
- Agricultural easements
- Open space, forest conservation, floodplain, wetland easements
- Utility easements
- When Can I Get Involved?You can get involved today! Sign up to receive regular email updates from the Green Infrastructure Planning Team, send us an email with your questions or comments, and take our 2021 Community Survey. You can also review the Natural Environment chapter of Plan2040 to learn more. The process for updating the Green Infrastructure Master Plan includes four phases as illustrated in the following timeline.
There will be opportunities for public input throughout the planning process:
Phases I and II
- Learn about Green Infrastructure through presentations and this website
- Citizens Environmental Commission Meeting - February 18, 2021
- Recreation Advisory Board - March 3, 2021
- Practitioner's Workshop - March 18, 2021 - Read the workshop summary
- Anne Arundel Forestry Board Meeting - April 13, 2021
- Citizens Environmental Commission Meeting - April 15, 2021
- Community survey (now closed; see draft Appendix A for a summary)
- Virtual Public Forum - April 29, 2021 - Watch the recording and review the presentation
- Citizen Environmental Commission Meeting - June 17, 2021
- Public Comment on Draft Plan - from August 12, 2021 through September 26, 2021
- Public Comment on Draft Network Map - from August 12, 2021 through September 26, 2021
- Public Forum to Discuss Draft Plan - Watch the recording from September 8, 2021
- Planning Advisory Board Review
- County Council Review and Adoption