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Green Infrastructure Network

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.

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.

Explore the Green Infra­struc­ture Net­work Inter­ac­tive Map.

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

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

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

Mary­land Green­print

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

Green Tip

Hi, I’m Howard and I’m here to provide you with green tips. Look for me throughout the site and check out my cool interactive games at the Kids Zone.