Before we can determine how to best direct growth, conserve
land, or implement restoration activities, we must first identify
which landscapes are most crucial to our long-term ecological
health. Today, innovative new assessment tools ad funding sources
are helping us do just that. While new and existing programs
coupled with an already stellar land preservation history certainly
predict a green future for Maryland, with more that 400,000 acres
already owned and managed by the state, the full commitment
and participation of private landowners will be fundamental to further success.
1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > Goal 5 > 6 > 7 > 8
|GREENPRINT: A Revolutionary New Focus In Land Conservation
- In May 2001, Governor Glendening signed into law a new $35 million program designed to protect lands critical to long-term ecological health through acquisitions and easements. These lands -- Maryland's green infrastructure -- provide the natural
foundation needed to support diverse plant and animal populations, and allow for essential natural processes like filtering water and cleaning air. The Governor's newest Smart Growth initiative, GreenPrint, is aimed at protecting Maryland's most valuable
remaining ecological lands -- two million acres of which have already been identified by DNR -- which are quickly becoming fragmented, or are disappearing altogether, particularly in developing areas.
By augmenting successful land preservation efforts like Program Open Space and Rural Legacy with additional
funding flexible enough to encompass anticipated large-lot purchases, GreenPrint is expected to boost the state's land conservation capacity by about 10,000 acres
per year for five years, beginning in FY '02. To further stimulate focused and sustained conservation actions targeting these biologically diverse landscapes, the
state plans to leverage other resources and work closely with citizens, land trusts and conservation groups.
In 2001, Maryland received a Kodak American Greenway Award for development of GreenPrint.
"Under the leadership of Governor Parris Glendening, Maryland has initiated strong
action to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed from the threats of
suburban sprawl and agricultural runoff. Through the State's Smart Growth, Rural Legacy and
Conservation Enhancement Reserve Programs, Maryland will have
innovative new tools to direct development to meet habitat conservation needs on agricultural and forest lands."
World Wildlife Fund naming Smart Growth a Gift to the Earth January 1998
- Rural Legacy, another major component of the Governor's Smart Growth Initiative, provides grants to local governments and land trusts to preserve Maryland's most significant natural, open space, agricultural and forest areas. The 24 designated Rural Legacy Areas located across the state represent the diversity of Maryland's landscape. Among the resources protected in Rural Legacy Areas are Patuxent River shoreline, significant Eastern Shore coastal bays and agricultural areas, civil war battlefields and buffers to the Zekiah Swamp.
During FY '01, the Rural Legacy Advisory Committee and Board evaluated 23 funding applications from local governments and private land trusts. Their recommendations -- to award $29.6 million in grants to 15 sponsors for the protection of more than 11,000 acres -- were approved by The Board of Public Works. More than 13,343 acres were protected by sponsors with easements and fee simple acquisition in FY 2001. In FY '00, $28 million in grants were awarded to 22 sponsors to protect more than 12,000 acres. Since the program's inception in 1998, $111.6 million have been earmarked to protect acreage in 24 designated Rural Legacy Areas. Nearly 22,000 acres have been protected to date.
- During FY '00 and FY '01, Maryland Environmental Trust added 16,409 acres of land to their conservation easement totals. In FY '01 alone, 57 new easements protected 9,461 acres of land, including 26 Rural Legacy easements and 39 easements that were established jointly with local or regional land trusts. As of January 2001, MET's lifetime cumulative totals were 580 easements covering 77,656 acres.
- In 2000, the Maryland Greenways Commission published the new Maryland Atlas of Greenways, Water Trails, and Green Infrastructure. This third edition was expanded significantly to include green infrastructure and identification of water trails, and contains maps and information on more than 1,500 miles of existing greenway corridors and 600 miles of major trail systems.
- Currently 105,000 acres of state-owned land are designated Wildlife Management Areas, and managed for wildlife conservation purposes. During FY '01, management activities included furnishing 966 acres of herbaceous cover plots, planting 1,500 trees and shrubs, providing vegetation control on 12,000 acres, maintaining 819 nest boxes, and managing water levels on 3,700 acres.
When it comes to Smart Growth, conserving natural resources means more than preserving land and protecting water quality; it means finding new products, creative methods and innovative tools to help Marylanders change the way we do business to lessen negative impacts on our resources...
- One new DNR initiative in the works for local governments, the Urban Watershed Tool Kit, brings a team of DNR experts to provide technical planning and resource conservation assistance through low impact development methods for residential neighborhoods and urban areas.
- Growth management support to local governments in FY '01 included: assisting in an economic assessment of Coastal Bays' natural resource value to Worcester County's economy; completing Phase I of the Coastal Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan; and working with city planners to develop a multi-objective flood plain management plan for Baltimore.
|For The Record: National Recognition For Maryland's Smart Growth Initiatives
- The Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation named Maryland's Smart Growth initiative one of the 10 most innovative new programs in the country for 2000, awarding the state a $100,000 prize.
- The National Sierra Club ranked Maryland 1st among the 50 states in protecting open space, third in land use planning and community revitalization and 12th in transportation planning.
- In FY '00, DNR Received the National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for Program Open Space and the Rural Legacy Program.
- The State of Maryland, Governor Glendening and the Smart Growth Initiative have also been singled out for national recognition with awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
- To facilitate information and project sharing among builders, architects, developers, design firms, consultants and state planners, DNR staff continue to coordinate the Green Building Network. Since 1999, the Network has attracted more than 400 participants from across the state. The Green Building website provides information to residents, homeowners and local governments on environmentally sensitive building design, construction and maintenance. A traveling Green Building Exhibit showcases materials, techniques and practices. Green Building presentations are available to local citizen groups, watershed organizations, universities and state agencies upon request. Green Building techniques sponsored by DNR include developing a template for incorporating green building into rehabilitating public housing in Baltimore, and construction of a living roof in Anne Arundel County.
'Since the land is the parent, let the citizens take care of her more carefully than childred do their mother."
Plato, Greek Philosopher