IMPORTANT UPDATE – October 28, 2021
On October 28, 2021, after many months of tireless efforts by UMD students, faculty members, staff, local residents and others to save Guilford Woods, President Darryll Pines announced that the University of Maryland “will pause current planning on the Western Gateway development.” This is incredible news because it means that the planned deforestation of Guilford Woods is now on hold. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that Guilford Woods and Guilford Run are permanently protected. So while we thank President Pines for this great decision and celebrate the news with tremendous relief, our efforts continue!
Guilford Woods is a ~15 acre remnant forest at the southern edge of the University of Maryland campus that is currently threatened by proposed development. This site includes the headwaters of a stream, Guilford Run, and is part of the Anacostia watershed.
The University of Maryland and the Gilbane Development Company are moving forward with plans to deforest a large portion of this environmentally sensitive area to build private townhomes and some graduate housing.
Guilford Woods and Guilford Run are precious natural areas and important to surrounding and downstream communities. Learn more about this special place at:
Friends of Guilford Woods
There is broad support for affordable graduate housing and transit-accessible housing in the region, but there are numerous concerns about the current plans for development at this site. The proposed project is driven by outdated priorities and a “business as usual” approach and is inconsistent with basic principles of sustainable development. There are far more appropriate locations for the proposed housing and the site is far more valuable in its natural state. Alternative visions are possible that would yield far greater benefits to the UMD and surrounding communities.
a birds-eye view of the project
- The entire project would be built immediately adjacent to the University of Maryland campus on ~11 acres of currently forested public land plus several acres of currently privately owned land.
- ~9 of the ~11 publicly owned acres would be sold by the University, at a significant discount, to Gilbane Development Company.
- Gilbane would deforest most of these ~9 acres, along with the already privately owned acreage, to prepare the site for the construction of ~80 private townhomes along with associated infrastructure (road network, etc).
- ~ 2 of the ~11 currently publicly owned acres would be retained by the University and leased to Gilbane at a significantly reduced rate. These ~2 acres would be the location of all of the graduate housing, which would be constructed by Gilbane.
- ~2 acres of land would remain forested along the stream, although the project would encroach on the current conservation easement.
Learn more about key topics relating to this issue, including better visions for this site and how to take action, at the links below (you can also reach these through the MENU TABS at the top or bottom of the page).