Takoma Park receives Sustainable Maryland Certified Award

October 6, 2014
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The City of Takoma Park was one of ten Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference held in Annapolis on Friday, September 12.

The City of Takoma Park is this year’s Sustainable Maryland “Sustainability Champion”, achieving 405 points on their application, more than any other municipality this year.

The City has long been recognized as an incubator of progressive policies and planning, and it demonstrated this leadership in its application this year. The City was the 2014 Sustainability Champion, amassing an impressive 405 points worth of Actions:

  • Two innovative plans include the Flower Avenue Green Street and the Ethan Allen Gateway Streetscape, both of which seek to address stormwater and transportation issues in comprehensive ways.
  • A “Live Local-Shop Local-Give Local” campaign, including cash mob events, an Art Hop, and strong partnerships with the business community, strengthens the City’s social networks and sense of place.
  • A popular farmers market and several community gardens offer residents ample access to fresh, local food.
  • The Employee Health and Wellness Committee serves to improve employee’s health, morale, and productivity while decreasing absenteeism and containing the City’s health care costs.
  • The City’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory together outline a path for a lighter carbon footprint for both the municipality and its residents.
  • In 2013, Takoma Park became the first city of its size to pass a law that bans the cosmetic use of certain pesticides on privately owned properties.
  • A comprehensive stormwater management program, including a fee-based stormwater fund that has been in existence since 1996, demonstrate the City’s commitment to the health of the local Sligo Creek watershed.

 

“Takoma Park is very happy to have obtained our Sustainable Maryland certification,” said Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams. “We have continued to establish initiatives such as our widespread composting program. We’ve recently hired our first sustainability coordinator, and we hope that this will lead us to attain even higher levels of certification.”

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 worth a total of at least 150 points (including two mandatory actions and two of six priority actions), and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied.

The 10 municipalities to achieve Sustainable Maryland Certified status this year include:

  • Town of Bel Air (first municipality certified in Harford County)
  • Town of Berwyn Heights (Prince George’s County)
  • Town of Boonsboro (first municipality certified in Washington County)
  • Town of Chesapeake Beach (first municipality certified in Calvert County)
  • Town of Cheverly (Prince George’s County)
  • City of Greenbelt (Prince George’s County)
  • Town of Snow Hill (Worcester County)
  • City of Takoma Park (Montgomery County)
  • Town of Riverdale Park (Prince George’s County)
  • Town of University Park (Prince George’s County)

 

According to Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland, “These awards are a testament to the passion and dedication of volunteers, municipal staff and elected officials to lighten our collective imprint on the Earth, restore the natural world, and plan together to create a better tomorrow for our children and their children.”

Joanne Throwe, Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland at College Park, congratulated the certified towns: “These newly certified Sustainable Maryland municipalities have demonstrated, each in their own unique ways, their commitment to strengthening the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability in their towns and cities. I commend their elected officials, municipal staff, and of course the passionate volunteers of their Green Teams for their efforts to shine a guiding light on the path forward for all of Maryland’s communities to a brighter, more sustainable future.”

For information about the City of Takoma Park’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Daryl Braithwaite, Public Works Director, 301-891-7615, darylb@takomagov.org

 


Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipalities as of 2014 (3rd full year of the program):

  • Total Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Certified: 22 (14% of Maryland’s municipalities)
  • Total Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Registered: 45 (29% of Maryland’s municipalities)

 

About Sustainable Maryland:
Sustainable Maryland 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 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: www.sustainablemaryland.com

 



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