Phase 1: Using GIS to Identify Loss of Ecosystem Function in Urban Areas

Regional & Strategic Planning

Status: Past Project

Bird standing on a tiny twig on a tree.

With the support of a 2016 Janice Hollmann Grant from the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET), a statewide land trust and independent unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, UER developed a series of GIS maps and strategic search capabilities to identify optimal locations for Eco-Functioning Spaces in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.  UER was assisted in the creation of three specific maps by Salisbury University’s Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative.

As part of the grant-funded work, UER identified areas of both counties that, if restored with Eco-Functioning Spaces (EFS), will materially strengthen the natural environment in some of the most degraded areas of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. Part of this strategy will be to identify and target privately-owned land parcels that are:

  • Adjacent to protected natural areas,

  • Adjacent to other lands that have already received public investments in green infrastructure, or

  • Unprotected natural areas that significantly affect environmental quality.

EFS in these private lands will enable UER to magnify the collective environmental impact of large public investments in ecosystem restoration.

The funds for this work were provided by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA).  We thank MET and SHA for their support and partnership.


Three GIS Maps

You can see snapshots of the 3 interactive maps with produced with the help of Salisbury University’s Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative:

1. Existing Conditions: Land Use and Land Cover


Map 1:  Existing conditions

2.  Spectrum of Ecosystem Function Breakdown

Map 2:  Ecosystem function breakdown (air, water, land/pervious surface)

3.  UER Strategic Target Areas (shown in red)

Map 3:  Sites identified based on UER’s strategic priorities

About Us

UER is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit urban land trust that was formed to work with landowners, associations, and communities to preserve or develop Eco-Functioning Spaces®

Phase II: Identifying Sites in Maryland for EFS with Maximum Environmental Impact