Chestertown recertified in Sustainable Maryland program

COLLEGE PARK – The Town of Chestertown is one of 16 Maryland municipalities to earn Sustainable Maryland certification in 2023.

Awards were presented this week during the Maryland Municipal League’s annual fall conference.

The Town of Chestertown, which was first certified in 2012, was recertified at the Silver level. 

Chestertown previously was recertified in 2015 and 2018.

This is the 12th year for the program, which is free and voluntary.

To achieve certification, municipalities are required to form a Green Team of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials; complete a variety of sustainability-related actions worth a minimum of 150 points for Bronze level certification or 400 points for Silver level; and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied.

Chestertown’s initiatives include the Good Seeds Garden project at H.H. Garnet Elementary School and the newly dedicated Lawrence Wetlands Preserve and Nature Center.

“I am genuinely honored that Chestertown has received the Sustainable Maryland Certified award this year. We are so happy to be part of the Sustainable Maryland network,” Mayor David Foster said in a news release. “I especially want to express my appreciation to the wonderful volunteers on the Chestertown Environmental Committee,” he added.

The Good Seeds Garden is a community project to provide native plant landscaping and education space for Garnet Elementary School students.

The project is a collaboration between the school’s parents, teachers and students , the Chestertown Garden Club, the Town of Chestertown and community organizations to beautify the school grounds and provide a natural habitat and outdoor classroom.

In cooperation with the Town of Chestertown, the nonprofit Sultana Education Foundation has created the Lawrence Wetlands Preserve and Nature Center. It is located on 8.5 acres of land in the downtown area that was obtained from Chestertown and Washington College.

Work began in 2021 with a trail network and planting of more than 400 native trees around the property’s perimeter and continued in 2022 with a system of wetland pedestrian boardwalks.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony open to the public was held Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland that is designed to support Maryland’s 157 municipalities as they look 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 can earn points toward sustainability certification.

Sustainable Maryland offers a customizable menu of concrete actions, allowing communities to select initiatives that best fit their specific needs.

The program, with the support of the Maryland Municipal League and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 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 be recognized statewide for their accomplishments.

 

 

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