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Maryland unveils smart growth tool

GreenPrint, Maryland’s new, interactive mapping and planning tool, is designed to help the state, local governments, conservation organizations, and citizens guide land conservation and growth. First conceived under Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s BayStat Initiative, GreenPrint is the centerpiece of Maryland: Smart, Green & Growing, a multi-agency, statewide initiative to create a more sustainable future for residents by linking community revitalization, transportation improvements, economic development, smart growth, and natural resources restoration.

Towson University’s Center for Geographic Information Sciences played a pivotal role in developing GreenPrint with the state.

"We live in times of great possibility and progress," said O’Malley. "Using the latest technology and harnessing the achievable hope of our great state’s potential for a more sustainable, healthy environment and economy, we’ve designed GreenPrint to help escalate smart growth and maximize our resources."

According to O’Malley, GreenPrint will use resources more efficiently by assessing the landscape on parcel, block, neighborhood, watershed, and ecosystem levels. "Accessible by every citizen, GreenPrint will help Marylanders take control of planning their communities’ and our state’s future," he said.

"GreenPrint is a strong, science-based tool for identifying the most important places to conserve in Maryland," said Nat Williams, director of The Nature Conservancy of Maryland/DC. "This tool ensures that state resources are wisely spent on our most important natural areas."

More than 150 conservation leaders and elected officials joined Governor O’Malley in early December 2008 for announcements that included a proposal to acquire 9,242 acres of some of the most ecologically and historically significant forest, farm, and shorelines in the state through Program Open Space, as well as the 2009 Rural Legacy grants. Together, more than 80 percent of these lands lie within a high-priority conservation or targeted ecological focus areas and exemplify the benefit of GreenPrint. If approved by the Board of Public Works, these proposed acquisitions will more than double the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s land conservation progress.

To access GreenPrint, visit www.greenprint.maryland.gov.