Posted on April 10, 2012
National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
A. James Clark School of Engineering
School of Public Policy College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
1210 Preinkert Field House
College Park, Maryland 20742
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joanne Throwe, Director
Contact: Tony Carson, Town Administrator
Town of Berlin Named First
Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipality
College Park, Md. (April 12, 2012) – The Town of Berlin became the first municipality in Maryland to be certified under the Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) program. Berlin attained certification by surpassing the program’s point requirement, fulfilling mandatory and priority actions, and completing a rigorous application and review process.
Sustainable Maryland Certified, a program of the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC), launched in June 2011 with the debut of its interactive website, www.SustainableMaryland.com. This free, voluntary sustainability certification program is open to all Maryland municipalities looking for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their assets and revitalize their communities to improve long-term quality of life. Maryland municipalities earn points towards sustainability certification by completing actions that incorporate best practices in areas relating to water and air quality, waste management, energy efficiency, local economies, planning and land use, and health and wellness.
In order to become Sustainable Maryland Certified, the Town of Berlin had to complete two mandatory actions related to the establishment of a local Green Team and two of six priority actions. In addition, Berlin had to accumulate at least 150 points by completing actions chosen from nine categories spanning a variety of resource management and economic development activities.
Berlin is a small progressive town located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “In Berlin, our citizens share a common belief that in the 21st Century for any community to obtain sustainable success — environmental stewardship and economic opportunity must be two sides of the same coin,” said Mayor Gee Williams. “By actively working together with citizens, local environmental groups and the state, the Town of Berlin seeks to be a leading community on the Eastern Shore in environmental responsibility. We are most grateful that the efforts of our citizens are being recognized through this very special honor,” the mayor added.
Berlin’s application for certification, which included extensive supporting documentation for each action completed, was initially reviewed by SMC staff and was then forwarded to industry experts for an external review. After a thorough review process, the SMC Executive Committee voted to approve the Town of Berlin’s certification, making it the first municipality to achieve this distinction. “Berlin should be extremely proud of its efforts and position at the forefront of sustainability in Maryland,” said Joanne Throwe, Director of the University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center.
SMC is a partnership that has evolved and been built on the contributions and talents of many. A number of partners share the responsibility for creating and managing the Program. SMC sponsors include the Maryland Municipal League, the Town Creek Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Program partners include the EFC’s sister center, the National Center for Snart Growth, as well as 87 other organizations from the public and private sectors, nonprofits, and academia.
The EFC is one of ten university-based centers across the country whose mission is to help communities identify sustainable strategies for financing their resource protection goals.
Environmental Finance Center