Patapsco Heritage Greenway
Working to advance the interests of the Patapsco Valley
and all who share it.
Maryland’s Heritage Areas are places to experience the authentic heritage of Maryland in a unique way that you cannot experience anywhere else. In Heritage Areas individuals, businesses, non-profits and governments form partnerships to preserve the best of Maryland’s historic sites and towns, unspoiled natural landscapes and enduring traditions.
In 2015, Patapsco Heritage Greenway celebrated the realization of a major goal when the Patapsco Valley became one of Maryland’s 13 certified Heritage Areas. This designation depended upon the unanimous approval of the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area (PVHA) Management Plan by both the Baltimore and Howard County government. In 2020, the PVHA boundary expanded northwest to extend from Granite and Marriottsville to Baltimore City including Daniels, Ellicott City, Oella, Catonsville, Illchester, Relay and Elkridge.
Natural processes, natural beauty, and history combine within the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area to create a unique opportunity for neighboring residents and visitors from across the state and beyond, to understand and enjoy Maryland’s most dramatic river valley. Through the efforts of PHG and its many partners, the public can better appreciate the significance of the valley’s heritage, understand its history, and enjoy the many experiences it has to offer.
The vision for the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area describes desired conditions related to natural resources, historic resources, scenic resources, visitor experience, economic benefits to the heritage area, and partnerships. The overarching vision is:
In 2025, the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area lies at the heart of a network of protected lands along the Patapsco River representative of Maryland’s Piedmont forest and industrial heritage. Natural processes, natural beauty, and history combine to create a unique opportunity for neighboring residents and visitors from across the state and beyond, to understand and enjoy Maryland’s most dramatic river valley. Through the efforts of many partners, the public appreciates the significance of the valley’s heritage, understands its history, and enjoys the experience it has to offer.
As the non-profit, managing organization for the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area (PVHA), Patapsco Heritage Greenway (PHG) is dedicated to preserving, protecting, interpreting, and restoring the environment, history and culture of Maryland’s most dramatic river valley for all. The organization’s mission is closely aligned with the goals and vision outlined in the Management Plan for the Heritage Area.
Five strategic goals frame the management actions that will accomplish the vision for the heritage area:
Stewardship: Promote and facilitate stewardship of heritage resources to support interpretation and appreciation of the history of the Patapsco Valley, enhance the quality of life for residents, and ensure a high quality visitor experience.
Interpretation: Provide heritage experiences for visitors focused on interpreting the Patapsco Valley’s vital importance in Maryland’s industrial revolution and its role in Maryland’s evolving resource stewardship ethic
Heritage Tourism: Increase the economic benefits of heritage tourism in the Patapsco Valley.
Recreation: Offer residents and visitors opportunities to explore and learn about the heritage areas through a variety of quality recreation experiences.
Management: Assure a strong, sustainable organization for Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Inc.
President: Steve Wachs
Vice President: John Heinrichs
Vice President: Sylvia Ramsey
Vice President: Mark Southerland
Vice President: Kathy Younkin
Treasurer: Cathy Hudson
Secretary: Kenneth Boone
Kit Valentine †
Charles Wagandt †
- Baltimore County Office of Tourism & Cultural Arts
- Howard County Tourism and Promotion
- Maryland State Parks (Patapsco Valley State Park)
- Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
- Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks
- Historical Society of Baltimore County
- Howard County Historical Society
- Sierra Club
- Maryland Ornithological Society- Baltimore Bird Club
- Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences
- Howard County Arts Council
- Howard County Chamber of Commerce
- Catonsville Chamber of Commerce
- Maryland Off-Road Enthusiasts
- Catonsville Rails to Trails
- Upper Patuxent Archaeology Group
Preserve. Protect. Interpret. Restore.
Patapsco Heritage Greenway, the non-profit managing organization of the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area, is dedicated to preserving, protecting, interpreting, and restoring the environment, history, and culture of Maryland’s most dramatic river valley for the enjoyment of all.