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Green Infrastructure Master Plan | Anne Arundel County, MD

NEW: County Council begins review of Green Infrastructure Master Plan

Legislation to adopt the Green Infrastructure Master Plan was presented to the County Council on January 18, 2022. The County Council will hold a series of working sessions and public hearings on the plan in the coming months. To follow the review process, please visit the County Council’s webpage.

Please use the links below to view the County Council’s draft plan (dated 18 January 2022).

Beige annex cover for PAB draft

(Click on the images to access the preliminary master plan documents.)

Plan our green infrastructure

The Green Infrastructure Master Plan will serve as a guide to protect the county’s best natural, agricultural and recreational lands. This scheme is an update of the 2002 Greenways Master Plan. The update will use better data to strengthen the ecological, recreational, historical and cultural assets that support the health of our environment, while contributing to our social health. and economical.

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 certain areas, such as federal, state, and county parks. Easements protect other privately owned areas. The green infrastructure network has many advantages. It improves water and air quality, supports plants and animals, and ensures 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 work with local, state, and federal governments, environmental nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, among other partners. As the green infrastructure network spans 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 invite you to send an e-mail [email protected] with questions and comments.
  • How will my community benefit?

    Green infrastructure supports scenic views, maintains healthy soils for agriculture, and provides recreational trails. It also prevents damage from stormwater runoff and nurtures healthy watersheds and coastlines. Here are some of the other ways Green Infrastructure serves you:

    Economic

    • Supports wildlife viewing, hunting and fishinga $1.3 billion industry in Maryland.
    • Increases tourism and spending on food, accommodation and other services.
    • Increases the value of nearby properties 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.

    Environment

    • Protects the quality of surface and groundwater resources.
    • Provides plant and animal habitats and migration corridors.
    • Creates a pleasant sense of place by protecting natural features and scenic views.
    • Helps mitigate the effects of climate change such as poor air quality, harmful flooding and heat islands.
    • Supports active transportation opportunities.

    recreational

    • Provides space for walking, jogging, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, fishing, hunting, and bird watching, among other outdoor activities.
    • The ability to exercise outdoors 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 wetlands – at least 250 acres – that protect natural resources from more intensive land uses. Corridors are linear elements at least 200 feet wide that connect hubs. The plan will also identify contiguous forest areas of 75 acres or more. The interconnectedness of these features supports plant, animal migration and ecosystem health. The Anne Arundel County Green Infrastructure Network includes all of the following:

    Natural and cultural assets

    • Floodplains, wetlands, streams and forests
    • Unpaved trails, water trails, and water access points
    • Historical and cultural resources

    Public lands

    • Parks
    • Federal, state, and county lands acquired for preservation purposes

    Private land

    • Land trusts
    • HOA package
    • Backyard

    Easements

    • Agricultural easements
    • Open space, forest conservation, floodplain, wetland easements
    • Utility easements
  • When can I get involved?

    IG Plan Update Schedule January - November 2021

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

    Stages I and II

    Phase III

    Stage IV

    • Planning Advisory Board (PAB) Review – Log in or register to submit testimony at the PAB meeting on November 10, 2021. Register to speak by Tuesday, November 9 via email [email protected] or by calling (410) 222-7432.
    • PAB Consideration for Recommendation – Submit written testimony by midnight November 28 for consideration by the PAB meeting date of December 8, 2021. [email protected] to submit your comments.
    • Consideration and adoption by the county council


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