Unveiling Baltimore County Green Infrastructure

The Baltimore Green Network Plan is a collective vision to bring together agencies, residents, neighborhood partners, and local businesses in Baltimore City to create an interconnected network of green spaces throughout the city. The plan seeks to transform vacant properties into community assets, such as recreational areas, parks, trails, public squares, urban gardens, and farms. By allocating resources to areas where investment is insufficient, the Plan will help create new safe and healthy spaces, while supporting economic and labor development. Data on green infrastructure are based on the GreenPrint program, established in 2001 by the state of Maryland for the purpose of protecting the remaining ecologically valuable land in the state.

Green infrastructure consists of centers and corridors. The centers contain land of ecological value, while corridors connect them and provide important walkways for wildlife, help transport seeds and pollen, and protect stream valleys and wetlands. The Baltimore Green Network (formerly known as the Growing Green Initiative) is a city-led effort to use sustainable, innovative, and cost-effective practices to stabilize and conserve land for redevelopment, and reuse wastelands to protect neighborhoods, reduce stormwater runoff, grow food, and create community spaces that mitigate the negative impacts of empty properties and prepare the ground for Baltimore's growth. This initiative directly supports the objectives and strategies of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan. TreeBaltimore is a mayoral initiative led by the City of Recreation and Parks of Baltimore in partnership with a number of local nonprofit partners.

The Forest Service, part of the Baltimore Federal Urban Water Association, uses the Green Pattern Book to guide the greening of vacant land by Baltimore City agencies, NGOs, community organizations, and individual residents. Along with other partners, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability helps fund the trust's Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant program which helps communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number and quantity of green space in urban areas, improve the health of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and improve quality of life and community habitability. The Baltimore County Government developed this greenhouse gas inventory and mitigation plan from county government operations to serve as the basis for the county's GHG reduction efforts and to support the state's climate goals. In conclusion, green infrastructure is an important part of Baltimore County's sustainability plan. It helps protect ecologically valuable land in Maryland while providing safe walkways for wildlife. It also helps reduce stormwater runoff while increasing green space in urban areas.

Finally, it helps improve quality of life by creating community spaces that mitigate negative impacts from empty properties.

Lorene Bergener
Lorene Bergener

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