Smart Growth Maryland

Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.

About Smart Growth

Downtown Frederick has benefited from smart growth tools and investments.

What is Smart Growth Maryland?

Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.

Smart Growth Maryland was launched in 2018 when 1000 Friends of Maryland, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization merged into Preservation Maryland. This merger of activities resulted in increased efficiencies, bigger impacts and more donor dollars put towards the critical work of helping save historic places and growing smarter.

Support SMART GROWTH MARYLAND’S WORK

How We Work

How Does Smart Growth Maryland Accomplish Its Work?

Smart Growth Maryland focuses its work in three critical areas: advocacy, education and technical assistance.

The staff of Smart Growth Maryland advocate at the local, state and federal level for programs and policies which incentivize smarter growth patterns and protect critical natural, cultural and historic resources. In addition, Smart Growth Maryland also presents at workshops, trainings, seminars and conferences throughout the state to provide access to the latest trends in smart growth. Smart Growth Maryland’s professional staff also works throughout the state to assist counties, municipalities and developers that are contemplating smart growth projects. Staff provides a wide range of expert technical assistance with projects aimed at revitalization, land-use planning and resource conservation.

How are Smart Growth and Historic Preservation Connected?

Historic preservation was the original smart growth movement.

Preservationists have long made the argument that revitalization of existing communities – and their historic places – is the wisest form of economic redevelopment. When existing communities are revitalized, sprawl is limited. This symbiotic relationship has kept the smart growth and historic preservation communities advocating on each other’s behalf for many years.

The launch of Smart Growth Maryland further solidified an already strong relationship between these two interest areas. Smart Growth Maryland provides Preservation Maryland with the ability to advocate for an even greater set of policies and programs that make preservation work possible. Alternatively, Preservation Maryland provides the smart growth community a unique partner to advance their common mission and to utilize historic places as a part of an overall smart growth message.

The overlap between smart growth and historic preservation is impressive. Many examples abound:

  • Interest in the reuse of historic buildings in downtowns is unlikely if sprawl remains a viable option. Adaptive reuse of historic buildings becomes more economically feasible in communities where open space is protected and sprawl is curtailed.
  • Rural agricultural landscapes are as much a part Maryland’s history as the barns and farmhouses which dot them. Saving open space is most effective in communities which prioritize the redevelopment of existing areas rather than encouraging sprawl.
  • Saving historic buildings in communities without walkable sidewalks and bikeable streets and is more difficult than in communities with complete, pedestrian friendly streets.
  • Redevelopment of historic neighborhoods is extremely difficult in the absence of reliable and effective transit options. Traffic choked roads and gridlock are barriers to the effective reuse of historic buildings and the revitalization of historic communities.

In addition to these specific examples, smart growth advocates and historic preservationists also share a common affinity for several broader issues here in Maryland:

How is Smart Growth Maryland Organized and Funded?

Smart Growth Maryland is a major program of Preservation Maryland. Smart Growth Maryland is not an independent organization. The finances of Smart Growth Maryland, like all other programs of Preservation Maryland, are annually reported on Preservation Maryland’s IRS 990 form. Donations restricted to the Smart Growth Maryland Campaign are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law and are recognized by an acknowledgment letter from Preservation Maryland. Smart Growth Maryland is supported by many individual, corporate, organizational, and foundation donors.

Who is on the staff of Smart Growth Maryland?

Smart Growth Maryland is administratively and programmatically supported by the staff of Preservation Maryland. Just as Preservation Maryland supports the rest of its programs like Heritage Fund grants and our Six-to-Fix program, the organization provides both leadership and support for Smart Growth Maryland. Preservation Maryland maintains an extremely low overhead rate and invests nearly 90 cents of every donor’s dollar directly into programs.

SUPPORT SMART GROWTH MARYLAND’S WORK

News & Updates

As more suburban communities become eligible for historic designation what considerations should preservationists consider as we weigh the balance of preservation and adaptation in these neighborhoods? Preservation Maryland convened a panel of experts to discuss. That recording is now available.

Continue Reading

As a result of advocacy work by Smart Growth Maryland and our local smart growth and land conservation partners, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted on October 21, 2020 to approve the expansion of the Zekiah Swamp Rural Legacy Area in Charles County, essentially doubling its size.

Continue Reading

Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Steny Hoyer, with Senator Chris Van Hollen as an original co-sponsor, have introduced federal legislation that would designate the existing Southern Maryland State Heritage Area known as Destination Southern Maryland as a National Heritage Area.

Continue Reading

Frederick County has recently announced the creation of the Rural Historic Preservation Grant Program that would provide grants up to $50,000 to individual land owners and non-profits for the restoration or rehabilitation of historically significant houses, barns, and sites in rural areas.

Continue Reading

How does a conservation district differ from a historic district – and it is right for your town? The City of Brunswick, Maryland, a town in rural Frederick County, is undertaking an initiative to create protections for their historic communities in the form of a conservation district. This recorded webinar conversation recorded by Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland on September 22, 2020 walks through what a conservation district is, how it works to protect historic communities, the process Brunswick went through, and the lessons learned.

Continue Reading

Kent County, Maryland’s picturesque historic and natural resources were the subject of a model report which confirmed the unique and unparalleled opportunities for preservation in this eastern shore county. For their inspired and innovative undertaking of the Preliminary Cultural Landscape Assessment of Kent County, Maryland, the project team comprised of the Kent Conservation & Preservation AllianceBarton Ross & Associates, McGinnis Landscape (now Kennon Williams Landscape Studio), Heritage Strategies, and Washington College Center for Environment and Society, will receive the Smart Growth Excellence Award from Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland.

Continue Reading

Partners for Open Space is launching a social media campaign to generate statewide support for Maryland’s parks, nature, outdoor spaces, as well as its rural and historic heritage, all with a strong nod toward Maryland’s Program Open Space.

Continue Reading

Frederick County has recently passed three pieces of landmark legislation that puts the county at the forefront of smart growth and environmental policy in Maryland. Preservation Maryland is proud to have worked with our local partners through the Smarter Growth Alliance for Frederick County to achieve these successes and to have helped ensure a better future for residents.

Continue Reading

The municipal planning process can intimidating and inequitable, but many of the most critical decisions that impact a community are made in the planning process. In order to create new resources for Maryland communities, planners, and citizens, Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland included this relevant topic in a free session of the virtual Old Line State Summit.

Continue Reading

The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning has invited the public to read and comment on the draft Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan being prepared by lead firm, Mahan Rykiel Associates.

Continue Reading
View all Smart Growth posts
Our Story Donate Press & Media Resources Contact Us Site by Younts Design Inc. © Preservation Maryland, 2020.