A Green Infrastructure Vision for Harford County, Maryland

Community Planning Assistance Team Report



Harford County, Maryland, engaged the CPAT program to execute and organize a community visioning workshop that engaged regional leaders and community groups on green infrastructure and resiliency planning. The workshop focused on identifying and prioritizing opportunities to use green infrastructure to enhance resilience in two subwatersheds: the more rural Upper Little Gunpowder Falls and the more urban Lower Gunpowder River. The primary goal of the project was to establish the parameters for delineating a green infrastructure network within the identified study areas, with the secondary goal being the identification and prioritization of land acquisition and restoration projects. A longer-term goal for Harford County will be to use the parameters established during the project to help delineate a countywide network and develop a formal Green Infrastructure Plan.

The report discusses green infrastructure, related planning efforts in Harford County, details the CPAT process, then moves into workshop findings. Results show what benefits of green infrastructure stakeholders value most and what are seen as the primary challenges and opportunities for creating an effective green infrastructure network within the watershed. Based on the analysis of existing resources and the results of the workshop, the team's report offers a series of recommendations and next steps.

Meet the Team

Jean K Akers, AICP, PLA
Team Leader

Jean K Akers, AICP, RLA

Jean K Akers is senior associate with Conservation Technix. Akers works with local governments and conservation organizations planning their park and trail systems and acquiring conservation lands. A professional landscape architect (RLA) and certified planner (AICP), Akers also has degrees in agriculture, horticulture, and landscape architecture. She served three consecutive terms on the Board of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals to promote the professional development of outdoor recreation planners and related professionals. She has taught ecological site design and conservation planning (Conway School of Ecological Design), municipal planning for PMPEI (Pennsylvania Municipal Planner's Educational Institute), and college courses in horticulture, urban forestry, and landscape design.

Christina Arlt, AICP
Team Member

Christina Arlt, AICP

Christina Arlt is a senior planner in the Office of Smart Growth at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) in Philadelphia. She also coordinates DVRPC's Municipal Outreach Program and is currently involved in a municipal water quality project that is part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative. Previously, Arlt worked in planning and zoning for Warwick Township in Bucks County, and spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Hamburg, Germany. She obtained her Master's in City Planning with a focus on Land Use and Environmental Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also obtained a Certificate in GIS and Spatial Analysis. Her undergraduate degree is in Urban & Environmental Studies from Franklin & Marshall College. Arlt is active in numerous professional organizations and nonprofits, including the APA Pennsylvania Chapter Southeast Section.

Jack Heide, AICP
Team Member

Jack Heide, AICP

Jack Heide is a resiliency manager with the Sustainable Jersey Resilience Program. He is working with Hurricane Sandy-affected communities connecting municipal leaders with long-term recovery and resilience planning resources and technical assistance. Previously, Heide worked as an associate planner for Douglas County, Washington and as a research associate for the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience where he worked to combine natural hazards mitigation with climate change plans for the Cities of Eugene and Springfield. He was a captain and civil affairs officer in the U.S. Army deployed to Afghanistan to support redevelopment in government, agriculture, public health, and education. Heide holds a master's degree in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon, where he concentrated on natural hazards mitigation in the context of land use planning.

Nicole Hostettler, AICP, PP, LEED Green Associate
Team Member

Nicole Hostettler, AICP, PP, LEED Green Associate

Nicole Hostettler is a city planner at the Philadelphia Water Department in the Office of Watersheds, implementing green stormwater infrastructure projects as part of the Green City, Clean Waters program. Previously she was senior planner at the Township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for nine years, authoring several master plans and a new zoning code and a planner for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission working on regional bicycle and pedestrian issues. She currently serves as secretary for the Southeast Section Council of APA's Pennsylvania Chapter and the Policy Committee for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. After graduating from Michigan State University and serving two years in Chicago with Americorp VISTA, she graduated from Rutgers University with a master's in city and regional planning. Originally from the Detroit area, she currently resides in South Philadelphia.


Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 7, 2016
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

Table of Contents


Harford County Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure

Related Planning Efforts


Harford County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Gunpowder Watershed Conservation Plan

2013 Harford County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan

Deer Creek Watershed Restoration Action Strategy

Aberdeen Proving Ground Joint Land Use Study

Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Management Program

Harford County Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan

CPAT Process

Workshop Findings


Next Steps



Workshop Materials

Meet the Team