On Monday, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 503 to establish a new Greenspace Equity Program for Maryland.
The legislation would create a new grant program, named the Greenspace Equity Program, to fund projects that would protect new lands for greenspace and projects to improve existing greenspaces for better public use. The new program would fund projects located in Maryland’s underserved or overburdened communities. Greenspace projects include pocket parks, community gardens, trails, community woodlands and other public uses of greenspace.
Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn hailed the passage of HB 503, stating,
“Thank you to the General Assembly for passing legislation to establish a Greenspace Equity Program for the state of Maryland. This legislation marks a new era of conservation in Maryland: one that is focused not just on preserving lands for the benefit of nature, but also on preserving and restoring lands for the benefit of people, especially people who have been historically excluded from conservation efforts and benefits.
“The Greenspace Equity Program will help to create and improve greenspaces in Maryland’s underserved and overburdened communities, where access to greenspace is often lacking or non-existent. By funding projects for new parks, trail connections, community gardens and other greenspaces, this program will help to provide places for neighbors to gather and recreate, it will support public health and community well-being and it will benefit nature and our environment.
“Thank you to Delegate Dana Stein, Senator Jim Rosapepe and the legislators and advocates who worked to advance and pass this important legislation.”