The Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation (MPEF) was created through an irrevocable trust by the Howard Research and Development Corporation (HRD) in April 1996.  HRD contributed $1,760,000 to the trust.  Trust funds must be administered and distributed solely for the protection, preservation, and maintenance of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) as a “forever protected” natural environmental area for the benefit of the residents of Howard County.  The MPEF is a 501(c)(3) entity under the Internal Revenue Code.

The Mission of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation is to preserve and protect, in perpetuity, the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area for the conservation and restoration of native plant and animal communities and to serve as a valuable natural area for environmental education.

The MPEF is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.  The trust originally required that the Board consist of five to seven trustees.  The original Board was to include two or three residents of Howard County representing the educational and/or scientific community, with expertise in one or more areas of study, including but not limited to biology, botany, ecology, environmental science, forestry, ornithology, and naturalization.  In addition, the Board was to include one or two other interested persons who are residents of Howard County.  The Columbia Association and HRD were each assured a representative on the Board.  Subsequent action of the Board expanded the composition of the Board to include, in addition to the above, another representative of the educational and/or scientific community, an additional interested citizen, and one to two residents of the county who have a financial background.