Sustainable Maryland is a certification program for municipalities in Maryland that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. Our mission is to assist municipalities in choosing a direction for their sustainability efforts, measure their progress, and gain recognition for their accomplishments.
Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland.
In 2018, eight municipalities became Sustainable Maryland Certified for a total of 35 certified municipalities.
In total, 74 municipalities are currently registered with the Sustainable Maryland program.
To become certified, municipalities must provide documentation of an active Green Team, completion of at least two of six Priority Actions, and completion of at least 150 points worth of Actions.
Held the fourth annual “Take Pride in Berlin” event to encourage Berlin residents to have pride in their community. This begins with a tradition called “Clean-Up Day” and features many community projects.
Completed the Healthiest Maryland Business Assessment in 2017 and became recognized as a Healthiest Maryland Business.
The Town adopted a Green Purchasing Policy, which involves the explicit promotion of green purchasing and environmentally preferable products whenever practicable.
In partnership with local environmental nonprofits, The Town has an ongoing watershed stewardship volunteer engagement program through which Berlin residents can become actively engaged in practical activities to keep local watersheds clean and healthy.
“The citizens of the Town of Berlin continue to recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and want to continue to develop a sustainable quality of life for generations to come,” said
Mayor Wm. Gee Williams III. “We continue to strive to maintain the environment and to maintain the balance of good environmental stewardship and growth. Within the Town of Berlin, we look for
solid citizen involvement and we seek their support as a part of our overall collaboration of involvement between citizens and government.”
Chestertown has been a certified Tree City USA for 37 years, making it the second longest participating municipality in Maryland.
The Town has placed pet waste stations at all of its parks and at the Kent County Middle School, with attached signs educating residents on the importance of cleaning up after pets.
Chestertown held their eighth annual Earth Day celebration this year, which featured various green booths and exhibitions.
The Chestertown Farmers Market has been in operation since 1981 and was voted #1 Small Farmers Market in Maryland by the American Farmland Trust twice.
“The Town of Chestertown prides itself on being a sustainable community in which to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Chris Cerino. “I want to thank our Town staff, the Green Team, and the residents of Chestertown for working together to achieve this status again in 2018”
Cottage City sponsored a series of 12 environmental field trips for senior citizens in Cottage City and the surrounding community.
The Town launched a community garden that is now in its 8th year. It features 24 beds, four fruit trees, and a grape arbor.
The Town partnered with the Port Towns Community Health Partnership and Fort Lincoln Family Medicine Center for monthly low-impact exercise classes for seniors from May 2016- April 2017.
Cottage City was one of the initial communities that joined Prince George's County and Sustainable Maryland’s efforts to "Scoop the Poop".
The Town adopted a Green Purchasing Policy to help ensure more environmentally friendly procurement of goods and services.
“The town of Cottage City, as part of its effort to become a more sustainable community, is proud of the Green Team and staff for their accomplishments and in being awarded the Sustainable Maryland certification,” said Commissioner Natashia Davis. “We hope to continue our pursuit of becoming a model community.”
The Town has two solar fields that generate approximately 250,000 kilowatts/month. The Town’s electrical use in municipally-owned buildings is now supplied by over 95% renewable energy.
The Mayor and Board of Commissioners approved the Town of Emmitsburg’s Sustainable Procurement Policy for use by the Town staff. The policy requests town staff use sustainable purchasing practices when choosing vendors and supplies for the Town.
Approximately 15 miles of natural surfaced multi-user trails for mountain bikers, hikers, bird watchers, and trail runners have been created as part of a stacked loop network in the
“We are honored to receive our second consecutive Sustainable Maryland Certified award,” said Emmitsburg Mayor Donald Briggs. “Our green team worked very hard for the award and is very much looking forward to the challenges of receiving the award for a third time.”
Held its first health fair for the community in 2018. The event had a total of 50 vendors, and attendees were able to receive complimentary flu shots as well as health screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, hearing, and vision.
Has been a Tree City USA community for 24 years.
The City is one of the municipalities that has approved the Patuxent River Watershed Act. The purpose of this legislation is to protect the Patuxent River by regulating actions that impact the river.
Offers an extensive Health & Wellness program for City employees, where enrolled participants accumulate points for certain healthful activities.
“The City of Laurel is proud to be recognized as a Sustainable Maryland Certified municipality, as well as a SolSmart municipality,” said Mayor Craig Moe. “As Laurel continues to grow, the City Council and I pledge to always work toward sustainable growth, including protection of our natural resource conservation, historic district, commercial corridor and encouraging healthy living for our wonderful city.”
The Green Team created a video series called #GreenisLife, which focuses on environmental living in Mount Rainier.
The City worked with University of Maryland students and a Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer to complete a Municipal Carbon Footprint for the City.
The Green Team hosted native plant workshops, plant swaps, and plant sales for the past 8 years.
The Mount Rainier Community Garden started its fifth growing season in the spring of 2018.
The City participated in a municipal collaboration with other municipalities in Prince George’s County in an effort to provide energy efficient weatherization upgrades to income-eligible residents for free.
“Mount Rainier has been a bellwether in the state of Maryland with its demonstrated commitment to going green and reducing its environmental footprint,” said Mayor Malinda Miles. “Thanks to
volunteers, the City has once again met the Sustainable Maryland Certified re-certification standards. This is the third time that Sustainable Maryland’s certification goals have been made. Thank you
especially to Green Team Chair Joseph Jakuta for taking the lead and putting Mount Rainier’s re-certification application together.”
Poolesville installed a solar array in 2013 comprised of 4,480 solar panels. The Town also provides tours and education to the local high school and multiple other groups.
The Town has introduced a series of free health and wellness seminars named “Wellness Wednesdays”. The seminars are given by health professionals of their respective fields and are designed to raise awareness, educate, and provide useful strategies to our residents for making positive lifestyle changes.
The Poolesville Community Garden continues to be a community-wide collaborative effort managed by a community committee and comprised of 24 raised beds.
In 2016 the Town of Poolesville began expanding its Buy Local Campaign by creating a bridge between residents and participating businesses.
The Town has 11 pet waste stations located in various town parks. They have conducted a pet waste outreach campaign, including brochures, pet waste leash attachments, and posters.
“Our recertification was accomplished through a combined effort by resident members of the Sustainable Poolesville Committee, Town Commissioners, and Town Staff to improve and ensure the quality of life of Poolesville residents for years to come and the Town’s long term sustainability,” said Commissioner Jerome Klobukowski.
Designated a Tree City USA for 28 consecutive years.
One of the top ten most diverse cities in the United States and the Mayor and Council regularly engage community members in exploring ways to continue building a community that thrives
on inclusion through many diversity programs.
Home to seven "Green Schools" within its city limits. Additionally, one Maryland Certified Green Center is located within the city limits that offers support to schools working towards green school certification status.
Operates a community garden plot program at Woottons Mill Park for more than 40 years, which hosts 178 plots available to residents.
Conducted assessments of the health of its three watersheds: Cabin John Creek, Watts Branch, and Rock Creek, and implemented a comprehensive Watershed Stewardship/Pollution Prevention Outreach Program.
- Sustainable Maryland hosted two Leadership Training Workshops in November on the topic of Growing the Community Forest. Workshops were held in Cambridge and Hyattsville with more than 80 elected officials, municipal staff and Green Team members attending.
Green Team Summits
- Sustainable Maryland hosted our third Prince George's County Green Team Summit in April, on the topic of Pet Waste Management. Representatives from more than sixteen municipal Green Teams attended.
- SM also hosted a Montgomery County Stormwater Summit for Homeowners in June, with more than 70 attendees checking out exhibitors and presentations about the County's stormwater resources.
Green Team Training
- Sustainable Maryland staff conducted customized training sessions for more than a dozen Green Teams across the state, providing information on completing Action Plans and formulating specific strategies for achieving local sustainability goals.
For more information on Sustainable Maryland programs, as well as other sustainability-related events across Maryland, please sign up for our email newsletter.
2017 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Bel Air (first certified in 2014), Berwyn Heights (first certified in 2014), Boonsboro (first certified in 2014), Burkittsville, Chesapeake Beach (first certified in 2014), Cheverly (first certified in 2014), Frostburg, Greenbelt (first certified in 2014), Mount Airy, North Beach, Riverdale Park (first certified in 2014), Takoma Park (2017 Sustainability Champion - highest point total; first certified 2014), University Park (first certified in 2014).
2016 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Annapolis (first certified in 2014), Bladensburg (first certified in 2014), Bowie (2016 Sustainability Champion; first certified in 2014), College Park (first certified in 2014), Colmar Manor, Edmonston (first certified in 2014), Frederick (first certified in 2014) Gaithersburg (first certified in 2014), Havre de Grace, Hyattsville (first certified in 2014), Middletown, Ocean City, Salisbury, and Thurmont.
2015 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Berlin (first certified municipality in 2012), Brunswick, Cambridge, Centreville, Chestertown (first certified 2012), Easton, Emmitsburg, Hagerstown, Laurel, Mount Rainier (2015 Sustainability Champion; first certified in 2012), Poolesville, Rockville (first certified in 2012)
2014 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Bel Air, Berwyn Heights, Boonsboro, Chesapeake Beach, Cheverly, Greenbelt, Riverdale Park, Snow Hill, Takoma Park (2014 Sustainability Champion), University Park
2013 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Annapolis, Bladensburg, Bowie, College Park, Edmonston, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hyattsville
2012 - Sustainable Maryland Certified
Berlin (1st municipality to be Sustainable Maryland Certified), Chestertown, Mount Rainier, Rockville
Address: Environmental Finance Center, 7480 Preinkert Drive, College Park, MD 20742
Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Ismaeel Dasti for his vital assistance in putting together this report.