Howard County Group

The Howard County Group of the Maryland Sierra Club

welcomes your participation in our environmental initiatives. The Sierra Club supports educational programs, conservation efforts, environmental candidates and legislation, and outings. Find more information here on our website, and the latest schedule on the Calendar


The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority held a public hearing on December 8. The MHAA Chair, Amanda Conn, reminded the attendees that the certification of a Heritage Area and the work of its "managing entity" (proposing projects and seeking funding) are legal. She also mentioned that the Management Plan of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway is not a Master Plan for the Patapsco Valley State Park, and that only the Park Service employees can approve plans for the State Parks (individual development plans and overall Master Plans).

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The final public hearing on the proposed Heritage Area that will include 5000 acres of Patapsco Valley State park has been announced.

WHAT: Maryland Heritage Areas Authority public hearing on the proposed designation of a Patapsco Certified Heritage Area
WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Monday, December 8, 2014 
WHERE: Catonsville Clubhouse, 10 Saint Timothy's Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228
WHO: Local government officials, heritage resource organizations, conservationists, tourism industry representatives, business and property owners, and others who are interested in the proposal to designate the Patapsco Certified Heritage Area


The Sierra Club testimony has been submitted. The public is welcome to testify in person and no advance registration is required.

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The Sierra Club campaign "Preserve Patapsco Valley State Park" has addressed the potential environmental impacts of heritage tourism development on state land. Public hearings in Baltimore and Howard County took place in July and September of this year. The third public hearing, announced below, will be the last before the certification comes to a vote by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (an agency of the Maryland Historical Trust). 

The Sierra Club position is that all development projects on state land should be reviewed by the appropriate state agencies, with public involvement. In Patapsco Valley State Park, a new Trail Management Plan is being prepared with public input.

The Patapsco Heritage Greenway's Management Plan is the subject of the public hearing, but none of the proposals in the Management Plan have been approved by the Park Service. 

If you would like to comment on the PHG Management Plan, please contact so we can include your comments in our testimony.

Presentation on Patapsco River Bloede Dam Removal -- CANCELLED

Serena McClain of American Rivers and Jim Thompson from Maryland DNR will discuss the status of dam removals on the Patapsco River

We regret that a last-minute schedule change will prevent our speakers from attending. Instead, please join us for an informal:

End of Year Review and Celebration

Dec. 5, 2014,  7:00 pm
Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia MD. 

Doors open at 6:30 pm for a casual social gathering and light refreshments. The meeting is free and open to the public, but you could bring a few dollars for the nature center's donation box.

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