County Executive Submits Green Infrastructure Master Plan to Planning Advisory Board
Plan aims to conserve 5,000 additional acres by 2030 through voluntary measures, add green spaces to urban communities
Annapolis, MD (October 27, 2021) Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the submission of the Green Infrastructure Master Plan to the County’s Planning Advisory Board. The revised plan provides a roadmap for County officials to work with landowners to voluntarily conserve an additional 5,000 acres of green spaces by 2030, while expanding green spaces in urban communities.
“Nature heals us, but only if we allow it to thrive,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “This Green Infrastructure Plan is our roadmap to a greener and a healthier future for ourselves, our children, and the many species that we share this land with. I thank everyone who worked on the draft plan and made comments to improve it.”
The Green Infrastructure Master Plan is a guide for conserving the most significant natural lands remaining in Anne Arundel County through voluntary actions. Over 70 percent of the network has already been conserved through actions by community organizations, land trusts, farmers, the Department of Recreation and Parks and individual landowners. This work is accomplished primarily through voluntary conservation easements which permanently protect lands and provide tax benefits for landowners, as well as through County acquisitions of land for new parks.
“Preservation of woodlands, agricultural land, and expansion of greenways has always been a top priority of the Department when we seek the acquisition of new park property. This new plan challenges us to conserve 5,000 new acres before the end of the decade,” County Director of Recreation & Parks Jessica Leyes said. “Preserved lands are vital pieces of every community's infrastructure and we are excited to expand the public green spaces throughout the county.”
The revised plan is the result of months of stakeholder input and public review. Thousands of residents visited the project’s website and provided hundreds of comments over a 45-day comment period.
“This is what continued transparency in land use planning looks like,” said the County’s Planning and Zoning Officer, Steve Kaii-Ziegler. “Residents were given the opportunity not only to review a plan, but to provide comments on an online, interactive green infrastructure map. They could zoom into a parcel in their neighborhood, and tell us why that parcel should be added or removed from the network.”
The revised plan and map are available for viewing at http://www.aacounty.org/greeninfrastructure. Residents will have an opportunity to provide testimony on the plan and map during a Planning Advisory Board meeting on November 10. The Board will provide recommendations later this winter. The County Council has the final authority to adopt the plan.