The Woodlands of GHI

The Woodlands of GHI


Greenbelt and GHI are known for our woods, and that's how we like it!  But the woods aren't just there - they need care and understanding, like all living things.  The City of Greenbelt has placed much of their wooded land into a Forest Preserve.  GHI has placed much of our wooded land into a Forest Conservation Management Agreement (FCMA).  The FCMA is between GHI, owner of the land, and the County and State, tax authorities of the land.  The City and the GHI situations are not the same.  Locally, when the term Preserve is used, it generally refers to the City-owned woods.  In GHI, we tend to refer to our own wooded areas as simply "the Woodlands."

The GHI Woodlands Committee looks after the GHI Woodlands, under the auspices of the GHI Board of Directors (BOD) and with the help of the GHI Director of Maintenance.  The Woodlands Committee is made up of interested GHI member volunteers approved by the BOD. The Committee meets monthly and sponsors regular events related to the Woodlands.  All members of GHI are welcome to attend the meetings (third Wednesday each month, 7PM in the GHI Administration Building.)  There is also a growing number of Friends of the Woodlands Committee, folks who volunteer to help on specific tasks or who adopt an area of our Woodlands to steward.  

The GHI Woodlands Committee tends the Woodlands as directed by the FCMA.  That FCMA dictates various management practices we must follow and in return the County and State give GHI big tax breaks on the relevant acreage, thus saving all GHI members real money that would otherwise have to be collected as part of our monthly fees.

Fighting non-native invasive vegetation is a major task of the Woodlands Committee, as is trail maintenance and community education.  We are also trying to locate the boundary lines between the City and GHI within the wooded areas and especially along the many woodland trails.

The GHI Woodlands are managed for the benefit of the community:  For improved air quality, for erosion abatement, and for recreational use.  The GHI trails are minimally maintained for able-bodied individuals to be able to walk or hike in a safe, natural environment without undue impediments.  We remove large logs, keep vegetation from encroaching on the trails and provide some stream crossings.  The trails are not intended to be accessible to wheeled devices; the paved pathways of GHI are available for those activities.

If you have suggestions or requests regarding the GHI Woodlands, please come to a meeting!  We always want feedback and appreciate the opportunity to share Woodland interests.  If you prefer, you may contact George Bachman, Director of Maintenance at GHI.

You may access a map of the GHI Woodlands from the Woodlands Committee page on the GHI website,  The Woodlands Committee updates this map with new trail names, landmarks and recognition of the boundaries between the City Forest Preserve and the GHI Woodlands.  Agendas and minutes of Woodlands Committee meetings, and other information is also available at that website.

Enjoy and be kind to the GHI Woodlands - and to all woods everywhere!