Maryland has a range of land preservation programs, designed to preserve land for its natural, historic, cultural, or recreational value. Together, they have conserved over 865,000 acres since 1969!
- 319,000 acres through Stateside Program Open Space
- 45,457 acres through Localside Program Open Space
- 79,000 acres through the Rural Legacy Program
- 292,000 acres through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Fund
- 130,000 acres through the Maryland Environmental Trust
Open spaces provide essential ecosystem services, including water quality, wildlife habitat, and air quality, and allow for climate adaptation. These spaces provide active and passive public recreation opportunities to all Marylanders, as well as increase community health and quality of life. Parks and conserved lands also create environmental learning opportunities, protect Maryland’s valuable farmland and treasured history, and support tourism.
Not only are open spaces important for conservation and recreation, they are also important components of Maryland’s economy. Research shows that a dollar spent by our state to conserve land for parks or forests generates ten dollars in private spending on tourism, recreation, and retail industries, a 10 to 1 multiplier. Learn more about how these programs benefit the Maryland State Economy.
The lands providing these important benefits remain under threat. At current development rates, Maryland is on pace to lose an additional 176,000 acres of forest and 226,000 acres of farmland by 2035.