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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to identify the undeveloped lands that are most critical to the stateâ€™s long-term ecological health. These lands, referred to as Marylandâ€™s green infrastructure, provide the natural foundation needed to support diverse plant and animal populations, and enable valuable natural processes like filtering water and cleaning the air to take place. Identifying and setting priorities for protection of the green infrastructure is an ongoing process. Review this description of Marylandâ€™s green infrastructure (Links to an external site.), including county-by-county maps.
Using Marylandâ€™s approach as a guide, find out how your community treats its open spaces. If you live in an urban area, does your city protect urban forests or other natural areas? If your community is suburban or rural in nature, is agricultural or habitat protected in any way? What water quality protections are in place at the local level? State level?