Baltimore County is fortunate to have some of the best rural conservation zoning in the country, as well as strong growth management policies. "The Plan for the Valleys", a land use plan produced in 1964, is credited for laying the foundation for effective management of sprawl, land preservation and resource conservation in the areas surrounding the Worthington and Greenspring Valleys. The organization responsible is The Valleys Planning Council, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The country of The Green Spring Valley Hounds, approximately 625 square miles, falls in this area.
BGE (Baltimore Gas & ELectric) purchased 90 acres in the midst of the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area, over 10,000 acres designated by state and county for preservation as farmland, and part of the GSVH's foxhunting country. The VPC found out that BGE planned to build a large, regional substation on the site. A committee, comprised of VPC members and local landowners, headed by Meriwether Morris, VPC board member and GSVH foxhunter, sprang into action to strategize the prevention of this development. Ultimately, the committee found an alternative site and helped negotiate the purchase of the other property. This collaborative effort resulted in BGE getting a site that better met their needs, and spared the parcels in the Piney Run Rural Legacy Area. These parcels will eventually be sold and eased, protected permanently for rural use, including foxhunting.
The VPC, executive director Teresa Moore, and Meriwether Morris were honored with the MFHA District Conservation Award at a GSVH Landowner's Party in January 2013. The party was held for landowners in our western country, where the action had taken place, and many who had participated in the preservation effort were present.