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Category: Environment Page 1 of 25

Berwyn Park Beautification and Dedication Ceremony

🌳🌷 Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to join the amazing members of the Berwyn community to plant a beautiful garden around the Berwyn Park sign and install our new Adopt-a-Park sign! 🌳🌷It was a fantastic day filled with teamwork, dedication, and a shared love for our community spaces. A big thank you to everyone who came out and contributed their time and effort. Together, we’re making Berwyn even more beautiful and welcoming! Let’s continue to take pride in our parks and work together to keep them thriving.

Annual Arbor Day Celebration – Tomorrow

The City’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration is this Friday at 6pm at the Calvert Hills Playground. Come join us as we read stories and plant a London Plane tree.

City Council Takes a Stand Against Proposed Alterations to County’s Better Bag Bill Fees

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Council approved a letter opposing certain provision to County’s Better Bag Bill

The City and the County both have enacted “better bag” legislation requiring (with some exemptions) retailers to charge a minimum of 10 cents for paper bags and prohibiting plastic single-use bags. CB-79-23 would amend the County bill to make 10 cents per paper bag the maximum charge; exempts customers who receive federal and state supplemental nutrition assistance from the charge; and exempts the charge for drive-thru food service and leftovers from restaurants.

The Committee for a Better Environment discussed the proposed legislation and voted to oppose the change making 10 cents per paper bag the maximum charge. Such a change would pass additional costs to businesses (bags often cost more than 10 cents) and disincentivize use of reusable bags—undermining the intent of the original legislation. The City’s legislation exempts pharmacies from the charge for paper bags but does not exempt drive-thru restaurants or leftovers from the paper bag charge.

The City also has provided free re-usable bags to food service providers, schools, businesses, and others.

Amendments to the County bill that would expand exemptions for certain businesses and that would make 10 cents the maximum charge would likely create confusion because the legislation differs from that in several municipalities. The City legislation is not required to be identical to the County legislation.

The County Council Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and the Environment Committee will discuss CB-79-23 on Thursday, September 28th.

City to Create New Committee to Improve Green Mode of Transportation

A few months ago, in consultation with some of my colleagues, I asked our City Council to create a College Park Bike/Walk Committee.

The new committee lays out several strategic plan objectives, such as improving ease of travel, encouraging green modes of transportation, and reducing unnecessary car use. It also makes the case that a committee would facilitate sustained municipal and community engagement in bicycle and pedestrian issues and help to focus the discussion on infrastructure planning and improvements to achieve results.

Staff also agrees that creating a Bike/Walk Committee would be a positive step in raising the profile of alternative transportation issues in the City and that it should also address micro-mobility vehicles.

At the February 21, 2023, Council Meeting, the City Council and staff discussed the idea further. The general consensus was establishing the Committee with 11 people, one representative from each Council district, plus a student representative. The remaining six seats will be at-large, not requiring City residency. The goal is to have representation from pedestrians, cyclists, and micro-mobility travelers. Therefore appointments of individuals from the business community, advocacy groups, and those with mobility or sensory challenges should be considered.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will vote to approve the creation of the new committee.

Arbor Day Tree Planting – This Friday

What: Arbor Day
When: April 28, 2023 | 6:00PM
Where: Narragansett Parkway and 52nd Ave.

The Tree and Landscape Board and the North College Park Civic Association are hosting the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting on Friday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the intersection of Narragansett Parkway and 52nd Avenue.

A native Scrub Pine will be planted.

Please join your neighbors at this event.

UMD Plans to Buy 35 Electric Battery Transit Buses

UMD has proposed to the Federal Transit Administration to purchase 35 electric battery transit buses and charging infrastructure. The proposed purchase will reduce direct carbon emissions, serve the Justice40 Initiative, and reinforce the City’s regional commitment to smart growth, sustainable transportation, and a sustainable healthy community.
At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will consider sending a letter of support for the purchase.

 

Pepco is Giving Away 800 Free Trees to Residential Customers

Pepco is giving away 800 free trees to residential customers through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program. Eligible customers can reserve one free tree per household by visiting arborday.org/Pepco or by calling 855-670-2771. Trees will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

While money may not actually grow on trees, the trees provided through this Earth-friendly initiative can help you reduce your energy use and save money as they grow by providing shade to your home in the summer and slowing winter winds. Through the Arbor Day Foundation’s website, you can also explore interactive tools that can help you determine the best location on your property to plant your tree for energy-saving benefits.

In addition to saving energy, trees provide benefits to the community, including:

  • Improving air quality
  • Improving water quality
  • Reducing stormwater runoff
  • Adding to the visual appeal of your neighborhood

There are several species to choose from, including Baldcypress, River Birch, Eastern Redbud, Red Maple, and White Dogwood – all trees native to our region. Your one-gallon tree will arrive at your home via mail by the end of May.

Before planting your energy-saving tree, call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging at least a few days before. Taking the right steps before digging will help prevent potential injury and avoid accidental damage to underground utility lines that could disrupt services to surrounding neighbors.

[City of Greenbelt]

Vine Removal Workshop

April 22, 2023 | 10:30AM – 12:30PM

Muskogee Playground

Join the Tree and Landscape Board for a hands-on lesson in vine Removal!

All are welcome. Bring your favorite hand pruners and wear long sleeves, pants, socks, and closed-toed shoes.

For more information, contact arborist@collegeparkmd.gov or call 240-487-3595.

No Mow April – Support Local Pollinators

April is just around the corner!

The City encourages its residents to reduce or refrain from mowing their lawns in support of local pollinators during April! Participating in No Mow April is a small and easy step we can take to help early-season pollinators that are foraging for food sources and habitat.

Please send photos of early-season pollinators observed in your yard to nomowapril@collegeparkmd.gov so the Bee City committee can begin documenting the types of pollinators active during No Mow April. Questions related to pollinators may also be submitted.

No registration is needed to participate in No Mow April — the College Park City Council passed Resolution 22-R-13 to permanently designate April as No Mow Month and waive the tall grass enforcement for College Park residents during April. Signage, denoting participation in No Mow April, is optional, and the City has a limited number of these colorful yard signs available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

[City of College Park]

A “Better Bag” Law for College Park

At tomorrow’s meeting, the College Park City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed “Better Bag” ordinance in College Park. The ordinance would generally prohibit retailers from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale. It will require that retail establishments charge a fee of at least 10 cents per bag for the provision of paper carryout bags and reusable carryout bags. This is to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags. The city will not be getting any revenue from the bag fees.

Businesses will be allowed to provide plastic bags, free of charge, to package certain bulk items, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items, bakery goods, ice, dry-cleaned clothes, and wrapping items such as meat, fish and flowers.

The ordinance will designate a week every year when businesses will be offering free reusable bags.

According to research, College Park residents use 12.7 million plastic single-use bags per year. Residents typically use these bags for less than 15 minutes while these bags stay in the environment for the rest of their lifetimes.

In addition to the environmental cost, there is also an economical cost. The County spends $125,000 annually to remove plastic bag debris from the sorting equipment.

Certain College Park businesses, such as MoM’s Organic Market, Trader Joe’s, and Lidl, already have partial or total restrictions on using free single-use plastic bags.

If College Park adopts the ordinance, it will join other jurisdictions with similar legislation. The list includes Laurel, Takoma Park, Baltimore, Chester-town, Easton, Westminster, Howard County and Montgomery County.10 states in the U.S., hundreds of cities worldwide and some 127 counties have similar legislation. The City of Hyattsville is also considering bag legislation.

If the Council approves the ordinance, the new law will be effective on September 1, 2023

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