Stewardship, Planning, and Federal Grants


The Stewardship Division:

  • Administers Department-wide Stewardship Teams who review and prioritize department acquisitions
  • Prepares the State’s Land Preservation and Recreation Plan (LPRP), including providing technical assistance to local governments in the preparation of their Local Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan.
  • Administers Maryland’s Land and Water Conservation Fund

Photo collage of recreational activity in Maryland

 Cover of the 2019-2023 Land Preservation & Recreation Plan 2019 – 2023 Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation 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. The Department of Natural Resources has recently completed the Maryland’s Land Preservation and Recreation Plan for 2019-2023. The Plan represents a vision and strategy that has been developed by the Department, with state, federal, and local organizations, to provide public outdoor recreation opportunities in Maryland. The Plan was approved by the National Park Service in April of 2019. The State Land Preservation and Recreation Plan incorporates public input gathered through surveys, stakeholder meetings and a thorough analysis of national, state and local issues impacting recreation and natural resource conservation.

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.

Local Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plans

Public parks and recreation facilities, and lands preserved for their agricultural and natural resource values provide Maryland residents and visitors with a wide array of services that benefit their quality of life. These places and amenities help create healthier communities, stimulate local economies and are vital pieces of community infrastructure. Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans (LPPRPs) are an important resource and mechanism through which county governments and the City of Baltimore can evaluate and update their baseline information on key issues, trends and plans for managing and enhancing the systems of preserved public lands, parks and recreation facilities in their jurisdictions. These Plans can and should be a resource that provides county and state leaders and the general public with a clear understanding of the county or City’s goals, strategies and priorities for investing to improve parks and recreation facilities and open spaces for the public benefit.​

Information from the LPPRPs guides land conservation, and parks and recreation planning, and decision making within each county, City of Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and is important to the work of the Maryland Department of Planning. The preparation and/or regular update of an LPPRP is a prerequisite for county participation in Maryland’s Program Open Space Local program [per Section 5-905(b) (2) of the Natural Resources Article – Annotated Code of Maryland], which provides annual grants for the acquisition of land for conservation and park purposes as well as for the development of public recreation facilities. LPPRPs are also used as key sources of information in the preparation of Maryland’s Land Preservation and Recreation Plan. Here is the link for more information, and to see the 2022 LPPRP Guidelines and the 2022 LPPRPs.​​

Stewardship Staff Contacts​


Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Planning

Chesapeake and Coastal Service works with various partners to develop Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Planning Guides. For more information visit the Chesapeake Coastal Service Publications page.