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Green Infrastructure Network

Howard County’s Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work maps the most eco­log­i­cally valu­able forests, wet­lands, mead­ows, water­ways, and other nat­ural areas as well as the lands that con­nect these parcels together. Green Infra­struc­ture helps sup­port native plant and ani­mal species, as well as help­ing the human pop­u­la­tions by clean­ing air and water resources, main­tain­ing nat­ural eco­log­i­cal processes, and con­tribut­ing to every­day qual­ity of life.

Hubs and Cor­ri­dors
Typ­i­cally, the basic build­ing blocks of a green infra­struc­ture net­work are hubs and cor­ri­dors.  Hubs are eco­log­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant nat­ural areas that pro­vide habi­tat for plant and ani­mal life. They may include large pro­tected areas, such as state and regional parks that are man­aged for nat­ural and recre­ational val­ues; com­mu­nity parks and nat­ural areas where nat­ural fea­tures and eco­log­i­cal processes are pro­tected and/or restored; and pri­vate wet­lands and forests that remain in a pre­dom­i­nantly open and unde­vel­oped state. Large con­tigu­ous blocks of inte­rior for­est (for­est at least 300 feet from the for­est edge) are an essen­tial com­po­nent of the net­work.  Cor­ri­dors are the lin­ear fea­tures that tie hubs together and they may include river and stream val­ley cor­ri­dors and forested upland corridors.

Howard County Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work
Howard County’s Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work Plan (GI Plan) refines and expands on Maryland’s Green Infra­struc­ture net­work to include areas of coun­ty­wide eco­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. The GI Plan will enable plan­ners to con­sider impor­tant nat­ural resources when prepar­ing the Gen­eral Plan, trans­porta­tion plans, water­shed plans and com­mu­nity plans; mak­ing deci­sions about zon­ing and devel­op­ment pro­pos­als; acquir­ing land for parks and pub­lic facil­i­ties; and obtain­ing agri­cul­tural, envi­ron­men­tal and other land preser­va­tion easements.

Explore the Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work Inter­ac­tive Map.

(Note: Click on “Help” on the tool­bar at any time for instruc­tions on nav­i­gat­ing the map­ping page.)

The Exec­u­tive Sum­mary from the Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work Plan is avail­able HERE. The full report is avail­able HERE on the Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Zon­ing web page.

More infor­ma­tion about the map­ping cri­te­ria for the hubs and cor­ri­dors in the Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work is avail­able in this handout:

Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work Map­ping Criteria

The GI Plan also presents poten­tial tools to pro­tect and enhance the net­work. More infor­ma­tion about these tools is avail­able in this handout:

What Does the GI Net­work Mean to You?

Click HERE for a PDF ver­sion of the County-wide Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work map. Click HERE for a PDF ver­sion of the County-wide Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work with Pro­tected Land map.

Con­tact Us

Please direct ques­tions and com­ments to: SOverstreet@howardcountymd.gov

or call Susan Over­street, Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Zon­ing: 410−313−4345

More Infor­ma­tion

Mary­land Green Infra­struc­ture
The Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­ural Resources devel­oped a Statewide Green Infra­struc­ture Plan. In this sys­tem, Howard County hubs include the Patux­ent River and Pat­ap­sco State Parks, the Mid­dle Patux­ent Envi­ron­men­tal Area, David Force Park and the Gor­man Nat­ural Resource Area. Howard County cor­ri­dors include major stream val­leys and poten­tial over­land con­nect­ing routes.

Mary­land Green­print

Maryland’s Green­print is a pro­gram to iden­tify Maryland’s most eco­log­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant lands and to tar­get them for preservation

The Con­ser­va­tion Fund
The Con­ser­va­tion Fund: Green Infra­struc­ture home page
Green Infra­struc­ture: Smart Con­ser­va­tion for the 21st Century

Local Green Infra­struc­ture Plans
Anne Arun­del County Green­ways Mas­ter Plan
Prince George’s County Green Infra­struc­ture Func­tional Mas­ter Plan, 2005

Green Tip

Drive efficiently.At 45mph and above, save gas by rolling your windows up