Green Infrastructure is a network of interconnected waterways, wetlands, forest, meadows, and other natural areas. Green Infrastructure helps support native plant and animal species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources, and contribute to the health and quality of life for communities.
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.
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.
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.
More information about the mapping criteria for the hubs and corridors in the Green Infrastructure Network is available in this handout:
The GI Plan also presents potential tools to protect and enhance the network. More information about these tools is available in this handout:
Explore the Green Infrastructure Network Interactive Map.
(Note: Click on “Help” on the toolbar at any time for instructions on navigating the mapping page.)
Please direct questions and comments to: SOverstreet@howardcountymd.gov
or call Susan Overstreet, Department of Planning and Zoning: 410−313−4345
Maryland’s Greenprint is a program to identify Maryland’s most ecologically significant lands and to target them for preservation
Local Green Infrastructure Plans
Anne Arundel County Greenways Master Plan
Prince George’s County Green Infrastructure Functional Master Plan, 2005