Urban Access

The Chesapeake Conservancy is a Steering Committee member of the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition (GBWC), a volunteer coalition working to connect people to greenspaces through four pillars of equity, discovery, biodiversity, and resilience. The GBWC is working to expand urban landscape conservation and identify and expand green infrastructure for the benefit of urban residents and wildlife.

The Conservancy is also promoting and piloting projects that improve the integrity and accessibility of our natural environment for all citizens, providing equitable connections to land and water trails and emphasizing the heritage and natural resources of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail in the urban environment.

Explore the Conservancy’s urban efforts below:

Green Infrastructure

Mapping Resiliency

Green infrastructure is our natural life support system—an interconnected network of forests, parks, greenways and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, allow stormwater to infiltrate into soils, and contribute to people’s health and quality of life.

Focusing on areas where green infrastructure could promote strategic conservation and restoration that is well integrated and applied at multiple scales (e.g., across parcels, landscapes, watersheds, and jurisdictions), the Chesapeake Conservancy worked with Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition partners to map green infrastructure across the region and identify opportunities to increase green infrastructure in order to address climate resiliency.

Members of the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition partnered to map out green infrastructure and identify opportunities to increase coastal resiliency.

Providing Equitable Connections

Environmental Career Symposium for Students in Charles County, Maryland

The Bureau of Land Management Eastern States (BLM), Charles County Public Schools, Chesapeake Conservancy and College of Southern Maryland (CSM) hosted “Creating an Environmental Foundation for Success,” a career symposium for high school and college students in Charles County, Maryland. Nearly 100 attendees learned about prospective careers in the environmental field. A panel of speakers shared their experiences in the field and helped students build familiarity with careers in the environment and land management. Participants also had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with various environmental groups and organizations in the region.

Green Jobs and Opportunity Fair

Chesapeake Conservancy joined partners from the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition in hosting a two-part event to engage Baltimore students and young adults interested in conservation careers and to support cultural competency in conservation organizations.  An employer workshop focused on cultural competency and workforce diversification was coupled with a Green Job and Opportunity fair for over 100 Baltimore residents at Coppin State University.

The Mamie Parker Journey: Inspiring Urban Youth to Embrace the Chesapeake

Chesapeake Conservancy worked with Dr. Mamie Parker, the first Black Deputy Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Mamie Parker Journey: Inspiring Youth to Embrace the Chesapeake speaker series. The program engaged students from 12 Baltimore high schools area about her conservation career and her inspirational journey, in order to expose them to career options in environmental fields.

Emphasizing the John Smith Chesapeake Trail

Realizing the Trail in Baltimore

The Chesapeake Conservancy is a unique conservation organization that blends history, conservation and technology to protect the Chesapeake Bay using the Chesapeake Trail as a framework. Through map design and production, signage implementation, virtual tours produced in conjunction with Terrain360, and community outreach initiatives, the Conservancy is working with Baltimore City and other partners to expand the use of the trail for two segments of the Patapsco River–the Inner Harbor and the Middle Branch.

Other urban access projects

Park Finder: Baltimore

A mobile-ready web app for location parks within 5, 10, and 15 minutes of a user’s location in Baltimore City, MD

Green Infrastructure Report

Offers new technology resources for advancing goals to conserve existing green spaces, restore degraded lands, and connect citizens to Baltimore’s natural resources.

Vacant Lot Opportunity Analyst

A desktop GIS tool useful for assessing which of the 17,000 vacant lots in Baltimore are suitable for redevelopment.

Baltimore land cover data

Explore a high-resolution (1 meter) land cover classification of Baltimore City using 2013 aerial imagery that is part of a Chesapeake Bay-wide effort.

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Middle Branch Paddle Guide

Follow Captain Smith’s travels on the Chesapeake Trail along the Middle Branch Patapsco River. Learn the traditions of descendant American Indian tribes who still live here, and experience the richness of the Chesapeake and its rivers. By land and by water, you’ll make discoveries of your own.