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Baltimore County completes $2M Tidal Back River Greening Project to reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality

Baltimore County completes $2M Tidal Back River Greening Project  to reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
TOWSON – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz stood on the banks of Back River on Wednesday morning alongside local community leaders, environmental advocates, and officials to mark the completion of an ambitious $2 million project to...
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Suburban Land Trusts
Conserving land in older, "inner" suburbs for small parks, gardens, natural areas & stormwater management
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How Trees Calm Us Down - The New Yorker

How Trees Calm Us Down - The New Yorker | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Alex Hutchinson reports on a new study that seeks to quantify the economic value of trees and green spaces, including their health benefits.
Bhopkins's insight:

A new study found that an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt.

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February Placemaking Newsletter | The Importance of Human Scale

February Placemaking Newsletter | The Importance of Human Scale | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:
"we do oppose projects that destroy or prevent the creation of quality spaces, and we challenge sweeping reforms that do not acknowledge or accommodate local contexts. There is no one human scale, but by engaging in a placemaking process, we can find the scale that works for every community.”
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Legislators seek state money for Radebaugh park project in Towson

Legislators seek state money for Radebaugh park project in Towson | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Two state legislators are filing bond bills to help Baltimore County defray the cost of purchasing a Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses satellite property that many Towson residents and community leaders say they want to see turned into a county park or recreational open space.
Bhopkins's insight:

Turning the site into open space is important in "land-locked" Towson because, "To have another park and another place for parents to play with their kids doesn't come up every day," Brochin said.

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The Growing Trend of Affordable Housing Impact Statements

The Growing Trend of Affordable Housing Impact Statements | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
A number of cities want to require developers and government officials to think about housing affordability on the front end of new development.
Bhopkins's insight:

"The statements would force developers and government officials to first consider how new development might affect the availability of housing for low-income families."

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Germany’s First Bike Superhighway Rolls Out – Next City

Germany’s First Bike Superhighway Rolls Out – Next City | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Plus Auckland weighs train options to the airport, and more in our weekly New Starts.
Bhopkins's insight:

The new bike highway, which utilizes abandoned railroad rights-of-way, differs from existing bike paths in that it is wide enough to allow bikes to travel at faster speeds in both directions. The new bike highway also features overtaking lanes and grade-separated crossings of most other roads. It is also lit and plowed of snow in the winter.

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Council approves higher developer fees in Towson to pay for open space

Council approves higher developer fees in Towson to pay for open space | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Developers in booming downtown Towson will pay greater fees when they can't include required green space in their projects under a plan approved by the Baltimore County Council Monday night..
Bhopkins's insight:

Under the new plan, developers building in Towson's downtown who don't have enough open space will pay $2,000 to $3,800 per residential unit, depending on where they are located. Developers already in the approval process will pay a portion of the increased fees.

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Victory: Congress Votes to Make Permanent the Tax Incentive for Conservation Easement Donations

Bhopkins's insight:

This is a real shot in the arm for the land conservation movement!

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Stop Raiding Program Open Space

Stop Raiding Program Open Space | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Maryland has one of the nation’s leading land preservation programs. From the mountains of Western Maryland to the beaches of Ocean City, every one of Maryland’s 24 counties boasts state and local parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, agricultural lands, and Rural Legacy Areas that were funded by Program Open Space. Program Open Space protects the places that make Maryland beautiful.





But this wildly successful and popular program has come under sustained attack. For years, elected officials have raided this dedicated state fund, breaking promises to save Maryland’s parks, forests, farms and historical sites for future generations and jeopardizing Maryland’s tourism industry.





Once land is developed, it’s gone forever.





State elected officials must stop raiding Program Open Space funds for other uses and honor the commitment to use the money as required to by law: to protect land for our children and grandchildren.





We call on Governor Hogan and legislative leaders to #StopRaiding Program Open Space. We must pass legislation to establish a special trust fund so that Program Open Space can keep protecting lands in Maryland. We can’t waste another moment - especially since Maryland's population is expected to grow by another 1 million people over the next 25 years.





You can help ensure that Maryland remains a beautiful state, rich with forests, working farms, history, parks and playgrounds by signing below!
Bhopkins's insight:

this wildly successful and popular program has come under sustained attack. For years, elected officials have raided this dedicated state fund, breaking promises to save Maryland’s parks, forests, farms and historical sites for future generations and jeopardizing Maryland’s tourism industry.

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Conservation easement tax incentive march to permanence

Conservation easement tax incentive march to permanence | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

"If it was up to the Senate, we would be ready to sign the deal now," Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) told Politico, referring to a package making many expired and expiring tax cuts permanent — including our conservation incentive"

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NCC: Human dimensions of conservation management

NCC: Human dimensions of conservation management | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

Utilizing concepts of how attitudes are formed and sustained, science can help bring about a public change in behavior.

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Winterizing Your Rain Barrel

Winterizing Your Rain Barrel | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. Now that it’s finally getting colder outside, it’s time to make sure your rain barrel is ready for the season. Preparing your barrel for winter, or winterizing it, is simple to do and will protect your barrel from damage.
Bhopkins's insight:

Don’t risk having ice in your barrel! Water expands when it freezes, applying pressure that could crack the barrel or barrel parts.

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Stores gamble, customers take a hike on busy shopping day

Stores gamble, customers take a hike on busy shopping day | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
A local bike shop and a national outdoor gear chain proudly and defiantly closed their doors on one of the year's busiest shopping days, gambling that consumers have grown weary of Black Friday and would embrace a new tradition involving hiking, biking and "civility."
Bhopkins's insight:

We spent the day biking around the wildlife refuge in Chincoteague, VA - I'll take snow geese over crowds of people in a shopping mall any day of the week.

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Earth's Atmosphere Just Crossed an Epochal Threshold

Earth's Atmosphere Just Crossed an Epochal Threshold | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Just in time for this month’s climate change talks in Paris.
Bhopkins's insight:

"With CO2 levels above 400 ppm, atmospheric carbon in our era is now higher than it’s been in at least one million years—and perhaps in 25 million years. One of the world’s most respected climatologists now says that November 11 could be the last day of our lifetimes in which atmospheric carbon stays below 400 parts per million."

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Rid the Chesapeake Bay of plastics - A request from Clean Water Action

Rid the Chesapeake Bay of plastics - A request from Clean Water Action | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it

This legislation will:  Clean up our neighborhoods and waterways, Support businesses in their move away from plastic bags, 

Bhopkins's insight:

Maryland taxpayers bear the cost of cleaning up the litter - spending millions each year on trash remediation and litter pickup. Be enacting a statewide ban on disposable plastic bags, Marylanders will spend less on clean-up costs, and retailers can cut costs spent on bags and litter clean up. Since the enactment of similar legislation in DC, results have shown a 60% reduction in bag use, and a 60% reduction in litter!

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Valentine's Day Green Tips

Valentine's Day Green Tips | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

Follow these green Valentine’s Day tips and you’ll benefit more than just your special someone: you’ll be supporting healthy communities and a healthy planet.

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Can Retail Space be an Extension of the Public Realm? A Look at Seattle’s Third Place Books - Project for Public Spaces

Can Retail Space be an Extension of the Public Realm? A Look at Seattle’s Third Place Books - Project for Public Spaces | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The success of Third Place Books, and its devoted patronage, suggests that for physical stores to succeed in an increasingly digital marketplace, they must combine convenience, quality, inspiration, and interaction. In other words, a business model that incorporates the values of place and community is win-win for the business itself and the people it serves.
Bhopkins's insight:

The store’s current management system includes one entity to run day-to-day operations and another separate nonprofit to organize events. This second group adopted the name “Friends of Third Place Commons,” and despite its modest staffing and budget, the group helps put on over 1,000 events each year. Their funding comes from various sources including the shopping center’s landlord; member dues; farmers market tent fees; state, local, and philanthropic grants; and local government funding from the King County Culture Foundation.

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What does “Warm December” mean for native plants?

What does “Warm December” mean for native plants? | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
If this December has felt exceptionally warm, you aren’t imagining it. Baltimore, like much of the United States, has been experiencing an unusually warm month and a fitting conclusion to what is shaping up to be the Earth’s warmest in over 1,400 years.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Still, most experts are confident that the weather patterns we are currently experiencing are unlikely to permanently damage or kill native trees and shrubs. The worst outcome you are likely to experience is a decrease in flower production in 2016, though some native species may actually benefit from this weather pattern and have a better-than-average year."

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Towson Developments to Pay Higher Open Space Funding | County Councilman David Marks

Towson Developments to Pay Higher Open Space Funding | County Councilman David Marks | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Bhopkins's insight:

Monday night’s resolution boosts the open space funding from pending projects in the Towson area, from $145,000 to more than $2 million, depending on the amount of open space internalized in projects.

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Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park

Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The Green Line would overtake Broadway for 40 blocks, from Columbus Circle to Union Square.
Bhopkins's insight:

 “green public space is at a premium in the city, and proximity to it is perhaps the best single indicator of value in real estate. [The] Green Line proposes a new green recreational space that is totally integrated with the form of the city.”  

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A Climate Deal, 6 Fateful Years in the Making

A Climate Deal, 6 Fateful Years in the Making | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
The story of how the deal came together started long before that — in December 2009, with the failure of the last such summit meeting in Copenhagen.
Bhopkins's insight:

"So what changed from Copenhagen to Paris? In short, three things: a fundamental change in the geopolitics of climate change; a shift in the perception of global warming from a distant warning to an immediate threat; and the art of French diplomacy during the event and in the months beforehand to soften the sharp elbows of negotiators and reduce the chances that major points of contention might kill a deal again."

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Place Capital: Reconnecting Economy with Community - Project for Public Spaces

Place Capital: Reconnecting Economy with Community - Project for Public Spaces | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
After participating in the discussions at PWPB and the Markets Conference this fall, we believe that the concept of Place Capital is ideally-suited to guide the cooperation of so many individual movements that are looking for ways to work together to change the world for the better.
Bhopkins's insight:

"Reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change."

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Is the Next Frontier of Green Space Underground? – Next City

Is the Next Frontier of Green Space Underground? – Next City | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
NYC’s Lowline Lab — an underground, experimental garden — shows the potential for a park right under our feet.
Bhopkins's insight:

the Lab has filled this city-owned warehouse with a living model for how a park might take shape in the sunless space below Delancey Street.

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Patriot Plaza in Towson could get a makeover, and possibly an ice rink

Patriot Plaza in Towson could get a makeover, and possibly an ice rink | Suburban Land Trusts | Scoop.it
Towson's Patriot Plaza -— an underused park with a leaky fountain near the Baltimore County government office building — is getting a multimillion-dollar makeover, and officials are floating the idea of placing an outdoor ice rink there.
Bhopkins's insight:

"the final design might include grassy plots, a paved area for events and a kids' play area."

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9 things people always say at zoning hearings, illustrated by cats

If you watch enough zoning hearings, the testimony begins to sound pretty repetitive. That novel argument you're making? The Council members have heard it a million times before. Here are 9 of the ...
Bhopkins's insight:

Not sure whom I have more empathy for here - people who come before this Council or the cats.

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