Maryland's Community Rivers

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Belt Woods, Maryland Community Rivers Program
Photo credit: 
David Harp

The Trust for Public Land's Maryland Community Rivers program is focused on the western Chesapeake Bay shoreline and tributaries of the state's four major river systems—the Gunpowder, Patuxent, Patapsco, and Potomac. Working with government agencies and local organizations, TPL's goal is to protect one-third of the land along these shores as parks and open space, conserving 105,000 acres along the waterways by 2020. This would establish one of the greenest and most natural metropolitan river park systems in America.

Nearly 1.5 million people live within these watersheds and significant population growth is forecast, making it essential to conserve more land. The program calls for new and enhanced parks where the need is greatest, conservation of natural lands, new connections between previously conserved lands, and expanded access to the Chesapeake Bay. These additional parklands will provide greater access to river recreation, and absorb pollution runoff to bay tributaries, helping to prevent further degradation of the bay.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.