City of Gaithersburg receives Sustainable Maryland Certified Award

Image of representatives from Gaithersburg accepting the Sustainable Maryland Award.
October 23, 2013
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The City of Gaithersburg was one of eight Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Certified awards ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual fall conference held in Solomons Island on October 18, 2013.

The City of Gaithersburg was recognized for their robust green agenda, such as:

  • Instituting green building requirements for new development and substantially improved development. Commercial and high-rise buildings equal to or larger than 10,000 sq. ft. but no larger than 50,000 sq. ft. are required to achieve certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building System;
  • Conducting energy audits on the City’s twelve buildings;
  • Ensuring residents learn about sustainability issues at the earliest levels, as evidenced by their participation in the MD Green Schools Program;
  • Leading a comprehensive watershed stewardship program, which recruits volunteers for water quality enhancement projects within the community;
  • Hosting a popular Farmers Market downtown and a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm drop-off location; and
  •  Being a longtime Tree City USA community.


Graphic of Sustainable Maryland Gaithersburg logo

“This award is a testament to the passion and dedication of Gaithersburg’s volunteer residents and municipal staff and elected officials to go green, save tax dollars, and improve the quality of life in their communities” said Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland Certified.

To achieve Sustainable Maryland Certified status, municipalities are required to form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials, complete a variety sustainability-related Actions, and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied.

The other newly certified communities included the City of Annapolis, Town of Bladensburg, City of Bowie, City of College Park, City of Frederick, Town of Edmonston and City of Hyattsville.

Joanne Throwe, Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland at College Park, congratulated the certified towns: “These communities are municipal leaders that are making important strides towards the long-term goal of a sustainable Maryland. Their efforts will serve as models for other Maryland communities seeking to ensure a more environmentally and economically resilient future for their residents.”


About Sustainable Maryland Certified:

Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland that is designed to support Maryland’s 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities. Using best practices in resource areas like water, energy, planning, health, food, and economy, a municipality can earn points toward sustainability certification.

Sustainable Maryland Certified offers a customizable menu of concrete actions, allowing communities to select initiatives that best fit their specific needs. This free and voluntary program, with the support of the Maryland Municipal League, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Town Creek Foundation, helps communities choose a direction for their greening efforts, complete their chosen actions with help from program tools, trainings, expert guidance, and other resources, and be recognized statewide for their accomplishments.

For more information about Sustainable Maryland Certified:

For information about the City of Gaithersburg’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Dyan Backe, Planning Department, 301 258-6330,

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