As Governor of Maryland (1995–2003), he led the creation of a groundbreaking smart growth initiative that focused on using the entire $23 billion state budget as an incentive for promoting smart growth at the local and county level. In addition, he prioritized open space preservation. During his term, 400,000 acres of land were protected, about one-third of all land ever preserved in Maryland. In addition, Governor Glendening led the way in re-engineering the historical preservation tax credit, leading to over $200 million in private investment and making the tax credit one of the state’s most successful community revitalization tools.
Before becoming Governor, Parris N. Glendening was a local elected official for more than 20 years. He began public service in 1973 as a city councilman in Hyattsville and was later elected to the Prince George’s County Council in 1974. In 1982 he was elected County Executive of Prince George’s County, a post he held for three consecutive terms.