Land Acquisition and Planning

2019-2023 Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan

Click here to download the entire PDF of the 2019-2023 Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan. Or use the links below to read specific Chapters of the Plan.

The Land Preservation and Recreation Plan is prepared every five years to identify essential and contemporary issues impacting outdoor recreation and natural resource protection in Maryland. This Plan was developed using public input gathered through surveys, stakeholder meetings and thorough analysis of national, state and local issues impacting recreation and natural resource conservation. The Land Preservation and Recreation Plan will help guide land conservation and development of outdoor recreation opportunities over the next five years and addresses critical issues identified in the planning process.

The Plan aims to: provide Maryland’s citizens and visitors with safe and easily accessible amenities; encourage the enjoyment and stewardship of Maryland’s natural world; and balance outdoor recreation land use with natural and cultural resource protection.

The Plan serves as Maryland’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and qualifies the state to receive funding through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Click here for more information about the Land and Water Conservation Fund and assistance grants in Maryland.

Questions about the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan can be directed to ​Molly Pickel at or 443-223-4302​.

Table of Contents


Executive Summary
Purpose of this Plan
​Key Issues and Recommendations Summary

Chapter 1: Introduction
Purpose of this Plan
Planning Process Overview
Current State of Public Outdoor Recreation in Maryland
Getting People Outdoors is Good for Maryland
Priorities and Goals for the Next Five Years

Chapter 2: Maryland’s Public Parks and Open Spaces
Inventory of Public Outdoor Recreation Sites
Known Usage and Visitation
Key Programs and Policies Guiding Land Conservation
Responding to Contemporary Issues Impacting Land Conservation in Maryland
Partners in Land Conservation and Public Outdoor Recreation

Chapter 3: Research and Trends
Maryland’s Changing Population
Feedback from Marylanders – Surveys and Focus Groups
Level of Service Analysis
Trends Impacting Outdoor Recreation in Maryland
Key Research Findings

Chapter 4: Priorities and Goals for the Next Five Years