September 9, 2004
Securing the Region’s Green Infrastructure: The Challenge, The Tools
As reported in The Washington Post, the greater Washington region is losing green space to new development at a rate estimated to be between 28 to 43 acres a day. During the period from 1986 to 2000, the region saw the percentage of developed land go from 12 percent to around 18 percent. The Green Infrastructure Demonstration Project, undertaken by the Metropolitan Council of Governments and the National Park Service, which recently published a series of Green Infrastructure Maps, has underscored the need for greater public and private effort to preserve and link the region’s green infrastructure. Absent greater effort, charismatic resources such as the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River may become substantially impaired. The Mayor in Washington, DC has recently announced an ambitious, multi-year effort to revitalize the Anacostia area with new parks, restored wetlands, and other “green infrastructure.” Also, recently ELI released Nature-Friendly Ordinances as a guide for local governments who want to execute a plan for their green space as well as their built environment.
On September 9, 2004, J. Glenn Eugster (Assistant Regional Director for Partnerships, National Park Service National Capitol Region), Elizabeth Berry(Senior Advisor for Environmental Affairs, Executive Office of the Mayor, Washington, DC), Drew Becher (Deputy Director, DC Department of Parks and Recreation) and James McElfish (Senior Attorney and Director, ELI Sustainable Use of Land Program) discussed the challenges and the potential tools to build the Region’s green infrastructure.