Fourteen Municipalities Awarded Sustainable Maryland Certified Status for 2016

Fourteen Municipalities Awarded Sustainable Maryland Certified Status for 2016

The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of Maryland announced the fourteen municipalities that achieved Sustainable Maryland Certified status for 2016, including eight that were re-certified from 2013. The certifications were bestowed at the Sustainable Maryland Awards during the annual Maryland Municipal League Conference on October 14 in Solomons, Maryland.

The Sustainable Maryland program provides support and guidance to municipalities looking 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 earn points toward sustainability certification. Currently, 66 of the state’s 157 incorporated municipalities have registered with the program to seek this award designation, with 36 achieving certification as of this year.

“Every year, the Environmental Finance Center is proud to welcome more municipalities to the Sustainable Maryland community,” said Dan Nees, director of the Environmental Finance Center. “The incredible growth of this program demonstrates that so many communities across the state are dedicated to healthier, more sustainable futures. The shared commitment of local elected officials, municipal staff and Green Team volunteers in these diverse towns and cities are a testament to Maryland's vision of resilience."

Photo of representatives of the 2016 Sustainable Maryland Certified awardees

The newly certified and re-certified (denoted by *) communities are listed alphabetically below, followed by a notable achievement from their local sustainability efforts:

  • City of Annapolis* (Anne Arundel County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Holds a GreenScape event each Spring and Fall, in which volunteers clean up and plant flower and vegetable gardens and public spaces throughout the City; in the past 10 years GreenScape volunteers have planted more than 15,000 perennials and 1,500 trees and shrubs.
  • Town of Bladensburg* (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Installed 2 Eco-Poles at the Municipal Center; Eco-Poles are free-standing 60 Watt LED light poles that are powered by a wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panels.
  • City of Bowie* (our 2016 “Sustainability Champion” for most awarded points; Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Certified as LEED Gold, Bowie’s City Hall, built in 2014, has 42 LEED features incorporated into the building including a partial green roof, water saving toilets and reserved parking for low emission/hybrid vehicles.
  • Town of Colmar Manor (Prince George’s County) - Adopted a Sustainable Purchasing Policy to provide guidance for the purchase of  municipal materials and services.
  • City of College Park* (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Launched the mBike bikeshare program in partnership with the University of Maryland, that includes 14 stations, 120 bicycles and 125 accessible trikes.
  • Town of Edmonston* (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Planted and now maintains 3 public fruit orchards throughout the community, which will provide free fruit to residents once trees mature.
  • City of Frederick* (Frederick County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Passed an updated livestock ordinance, allowing up to six hens per private yard.
  • City of Gaithersburg* (Montgomery County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Adopted a resolution requiring LEED Green Building Silver certification for all future occupied municipal buildings.
  • City of Havre de Grace (Harford County) - Purchased two neighborhood electric vehicles for its municipal fleet, helping to lower fuel costs and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • City of Hyattsville* (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016) - Installed anti-idling devices on six police vehicles, which save fuel and reduce emissions by shutting off the engine while parked, but still allow the use of auxiliary equipment such as lights, computers, and radio.
  • Town of Middletown (Frederick County) - Constructed an 836-kilowatt solar array directly adjacent to the East Wastewater Treatment Plant, which delivers 1,143 megawatts of electricity annually to fully power Middletown's water and wastewater facilities utilizing a Power Purchase Agreement.
  • Town of Ocean City (Worcester County) -  Completed a Municipal Carbon Footprint for the Town in 2015.
  • City of Salisbury (the first municipality to be certified in Wicomico County) - Provides free Wi-Fi in the Downtown Plaza area to encourage more economic activity at local merchants.
  • Town of Thurmont (Frederick County) - Established a Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) Ordinance, which details specific characteristics that must be met including building design, street alignments and design, and architectural details.

A full report on each certified community’s Actions can be viewed here:

According to Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland, “This year’s Sustainable Maryland Certified municipalities featured both large cities and small towns, from both urban and rural parts of the state. These communities, while differing in scale and demographics, all recognized the importance of addressing sustainability issues at the local level. We are especially pleased by the successful re-certification of all eight Sustainable Maryland Certified municipalities from 2013, which demonstrates the value communities place on our certification designation and the municipal Green Team/Action Plan framework.

With the support of the Maryland Municipal League, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Town Creek Foundation, Sustainable Maryland is a free and voluntary program that 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 get recognized statewide for their accomplishments. For more information about Sustainable Maryland, please visit

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland works to equip communities with the knowledge, resources and leadership needed to empower decision-making that advances resource management priorities in an innovative and efficient way. Through direct technical assistance, capacity building and program and policy analysis, it strives to move communities towards a more sustainable and resilient future. For more information about the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, please visit

October 21, 2016

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