Partners for Open Space is launching a social media campaign to generate statewide support for Maryland’s parks, nature, outdoor spaces, as well as its rural and historic heritage, all with a strong nod toward Maryland’s Program Open Space.

Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland are proud and active members of Partners for Open Space. Partners for Open Space is a statewide coalition advocating for and defending open space in Maryland. Guided by a single and powerful mission, Partners for Open Space works to protect Program Open Space and Maryland’s related conservation and preservation programs.

Cylists and walkers on Beach Drive Parkway in Montgomery County, MD, 2020. Photo from Partners for Open Space.

Cylists and walkers on Beach Drive Parkway in Montgomery County, MD, 2020. Photo from Partners for Open Space.

Since Covid-19 and associated safety measures, more Marylanders have been visiting the state’s parks, trails, and open spaces. In fact, Google has been compiling data about our collective change in movement and the data bears out the anecdotal observations of busier than usual parks and trails during the lockdown. From a recent report, there has been a 144% increase in visits to parks for the state as a whole. This data bears out the anecdotal observations of busier than usual parks and trails during the lockdown, and our attraction and need for open space in Maryland – for fresh air, for exercise, and to visit the places in Maryland that matter to us.

Make Your Voice Heard Today! On September 10, 2020, Partners for Open Space invites you to join in the celebration of Maryland’s open spaces by sharing a favorite memory from this past summer in Maryland’s outdoors. Just share a photo on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag: #MDopenspaces.

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Instagram


One of the easiest ways for Maryland to keep up increased usage and the compounding need for maintenance, enhancements, and expansion is to invest in and maintain full-funding for Program Open Space. If you agree, join the Partners for Open Space fall social media campaign! Here’s how:

  1. Share your favorite photos from the summer! Use our hashtag #MDopenspaces on your favorite social media platform.
  2. Download and share our free Program Open Space graphics at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget the hashtag!
  3. Email with any additional photos or questions.
Fishing, 2020. Photo from Partners for Open Space.

Fishing, 2020. Photo from Partners for Open Space.


In 1969, the Maryland General Assembly created Program Open Space through the institution of a transfer tax of 0.5 percent on every real estate transaction in the state. Since then the program has been responsible for:

  • 319,000 acres of open space for state parts and natural resource areas,
  • Creation and funding of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority & heritage area grants,
  • More than 6,100 individual county and municipal parks and conservation areas,
  • 31,000 acres of local parkland,
  • 31 Rural Legacy areas, preserving 77,000 acres,
  • 286,000 acres of farmland under the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) easement.

This program is constantly threatened. Despite its incredible track-record, the positive cash-flow of the transfer tax is an obvious target during budget deliberations in Annapolis. Since its creation, this has resulted in nearly $1 billion worth of Program Open Space funding being diverted from the program. If those funds had been used a promised, the state could have created: 1,200 new and updated local parks, 185,000 additional acres of permanently preserved farms and forests, and 65,000 additional acres of state parks and valuable ecological areas.

Since Program Open Space also funds the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Preservation Maryland is a staunch supporter of the program. In 2015, Preservation Maryland joined the Executive Committee of the Partners for Open Space, the principal advocacy group dedicated to defending Program Open Space funding. Preservation Maryland supports full funding of this program, opposes any attempts to shortcut, reduce or cap the program in any way, and supports the repayment of previous diversions from the fund.


Learn more about Partners for Open Space

Make a donation to Smart Growth Maryland