USDA Forest Service


GI Assessments / GIS Mapping

Leadership Group Facilitation





Natural Environment


Social/Economic Health






Federal Government

Green infrastructure, also known as ecological restoration or ecological rehabilitation, refers to a network of natural areas, conservation lands, and productive landscapes that support native species, maintain natural processes, sustain air and water resources, and contribute to the health and quality of life for America’s communities and people. Green Infrastructure is an innovative approach to land conservation that establishes.

Green infrastructure includes everything from major conservation regions such as National Forests and National Parks to smaller regional and local landscape features including marshes and stream buffers, to the urban forest and street trees, all of which emphasizes their connectivity.

For quite some time, the Forest Service has been involved in promoting green infrastructure.

1996: The Forest Service was a member of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development – Metropolitan and Rural Strategies Task Force (Green Infrastructure was one of the topics addressed)

August 1999: The Forest Service collaborated to create a green infrastructure training program by sponsoring a meeting of 19 public, private, and nonprofit experts at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The goal of the course was to “assist communities and their partners in making green infrastructure an integral component of federal, state, and local government planning, policy, implementation, and decision-making.” This session established the groundwork for today’s green infrastructure training collaboration between the Forest Service, The Conservation Fund, and a range of other public and private organizations

September 2005: The Forest Service, in collaboration with The Conservation Fund, organized the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, the Environmental Protection Agency, Defenders of Wildlife, and other partners’ national roundtable on “connecting lands for nature and people.”

The roundtable, which included 40 land planning and conservation experts, concurred on a shared vision and identified key actions and a procedure for achieving common goals. The meeting produced a larger and more varied set of partners who agreed in principle to collaborate towards the goal of developing a connected-lands strategy.

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