Our Woodlands


The "Green Belt" 
Greenbelt, Maryland is wooded community by design. When our community was founded in 1937, it was created as a "premier example of a community planned and administered for the enhancement of wholesome human relationships." A key component of the design was inclusion of a wide buffer of forest and natural lands. Most of the forested areas around town have remained so since the early 1930s or before. Today, GHI manages nearly 86 acres of forested woodlands, in addition to the mostly wooded yards and parks throughout our community. Our "Green Belt" is further enhanced by the adjacent Buddy Attick Park, City of Greenbelt woodlands, Greenbelt National Park, and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

Forest Conservation 
GHI has managed its woodlands under a forest management plan with the State of Maryland since the 1970s. The current plan, a Forest Conservation Management Agreement (FCMA) , ensures that the GHI's 85.9 acres of woodlands  will remain forested by placing a conservation covenant over the land that prevents future development. The FCMA also reduces property tax levels on the woodlands, saving all GHI members money!

Our Plan 
The FCMA requires GHI to take steps to protect the health of our woodlands and provides scientific direction to help us do this. Our Plan sets out detailed goals and management recommendations. The GHI Woodland Committee is responsible for administering the FCMA plan and coordinating management activities.

Our Goals
1. To manage for low impact and passive recreation within the woodlands, and maintain the trail system;
2. To control erosion within the woodlands, including its streams and trails;
3. To promote and maintain the health and character of the GHI forest using ecologically sound and minimally intrusive methods;
4. To understand the role of the GHI woodlands in the regional ecosystem and foster stewardship partnerships with adjacent landowners;
5. To maintain and encourage biodiversity of native plant and animal species;
6. To monitor and learn about the growth and change of the ecological system;
7. To promote knowledge about GHI's natural resources and their interrelationships to the community and encourage community participation in achieving these goals.

Our Biggest Threat: The Green Menace 
Invasive, non-native plants pose the largest threat to our woodlands and natural areas. These alien invaders are killing trees, crowding out native plants, and disturbing wildlife habitat. Learn about these plants and what you can do to help stop their spread. More>

Our Trails 

Our Plants 

Our Animals