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College Park Earns Sustainable Maryland Certification

College Park has received Sustainable Maryland certification award, which is made from recycled glass.

Recently, the City of College Park, along with four other municipalities, was honored by Sustainable Maryland Certified program.

The other newly certified communities included the City of Annapolis, Town of Edmonston and City of Hyattsville. College Park completed the rigorous application and review process and achieved certification by completing the 2 mandatory and priority actions and accumulating more than 150 points.

On March 13th, 2012 City Council passed a resolution to establish a “Green Team” with the charge of leading the City in organizing and completing actions toward certification under the State of Maryland’s Sustainable Maryland Certified (SMC) Program.

Since August of 2012 the Team has met once per month to discuss and complete the necessary requirements toward certification. The mandatory actions toward certification are the establishment of the Green Team and the creation of a 3 Year Action Plan. The Plan describes specific environmentally sustainable measures and effectively outlines a strategy towards completing actions that will allow the City to achieve certification within the SMC program.

Action items within the Plan are assigned point values and are categorized among the following 8 sustainability issues: Community Action, Community Based Food Systems, Energy, Greenhouse Gas, Health and Wellness, Local Economy and Natural Resources.

In the past year the City worked ona number of programs that helped them to achieve the award. They include the city’s inaugural “buy local” campaign, “Shop College Park,” with special emphasis on promoting locally-owned and independent businesses. The City also to set up a pit-stop event for the Metropolitan Area Council of Government’s annual Bike to Work Day. College Park also developed an innovative recycling program that includes single stream recycling, electronics and yard waste, a comprehensive workplace wellness program for municipal employees, including frequent lunch hour seminars and workshops, as well as an employee reimbursement program for fitness activities outside of the office. Also we worked on 3 farmers markets in the city, one at the UMd, one at the City Hall parking lot and another in Hollywood.

In the coming years, the City plans to work on a number of sustainability related projects, such as the Bike Share program (which will start early next year), community garden project, the business recycling plan and the green street program.

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