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Green Infrastructure Master Plan

*NEW: Review materials from the April 29th public forum*

*NEW: Take the survey*

Planning Our Green Infrastructure

The Green Infrastructure Master Plan will be a guide to protecting the County's best natural, agricultural, and recreational lands. This plan is an update to the 2002 Greenways Master Plan. The update will use better data to strengthen the ecological, recreational, historic, and cultural assets that support the health of our environment, while also contributing to our social and economic health.
 

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.

Diagram showing 3 green infrastructure hubs, connected by two linear corridors

This Master Plan update is a joint effort between the Office of Planning and Zoning and the Department of Recreation and Parks. We are working together with local, state, and federal government, environmental nonprofits, and the private sector, among other partners. Since the Green Infrastructure Network weaves across the entire County, public participation will be essential. We invite you to explore our resources for more information on how you can stay involved. We also welcome you to email [email protected] with questions and comments.
 
  • 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:

    Economic

    • Supports wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishinga $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.

    Environmental

    • 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.

    Recreational

    • 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

    Public Lands

    • Parks
    • Federal, State, and County lands acquired for preservation

    Private Lands

    • Land Trusts
    • HOA Parcels
    • Backyards

    Easements

    • 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

    Timeline for GI plan update from January through November 2021

    There will be opportunities for public input throughout the planning process: 

    Phases I and II

    Phase III

    • Citizen Environmental Commission Meeting - June 17, 2021
    • Public Comment on Draft Map
    • Public Comment on Draft Plan

    Phase IV

    • Planning Advisory Board Review
    • County Council Review and Adoption