Bowie Scores as "Sustainability Champion" 2016

Posted by Mike H. on Oct 20, 2016

Bowie Receives Prestigious Sustainable Maryland Certified Award at Maryland Municipal League Conference – And is 2016 “Sustainability Champion” for Highest Point Score


Contact: Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager, Sustainable Maryland

College Park, MD (October 18, 2016) – The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland announced that The City of Bowie was one of 14 Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference last Friday in Solomon’s Maryland.

Bowie is this year’s Sustainable Maryland “Sustainability Champion”, amassing an impressive 560 points on their application, more than any other community that was certified in 2016. The City was first certified in 2013.

A detailed summary of Bowie’s sustainability Actions can be found in their Certification Report, attached as a PDF.

Highlights of Bowie’s accomplishments include: 

  • Operates a Farmers Market in the parking lot of Bowie HS on Sundays from May-October, at which 18 vendors sell goods. Gross market sales are roughly $112,000/year.
  • Supported the Bowie Solar Co-op for residential homes, which resulted in 50 residents installing solar panels.
  • Bowie’s City Hall, built in 2014, is certified LEED Gold, with 42 LEED features incorporated into the building including a partial green roof, water saving toilets and reserved parking for low emission/hybrid vehicles.
  • Subsidized the cost of 250 residential energy audits, which resulted in installations that provided an estimated  $5,206 in electricity savings and $790 in gas savings
  • Purchased an all-electric Nissan Leaf and two electric motorcycles for the city’s fleet; Bowie’s police department is one of the first on the east coast to use electric motorcycles.
  • Completed an inventory and conditions rating of the City’s hiker-biker trail system, resulting in a list of trails in need of repairs/maintenance, as well as highlighting missing links in the existing trail network.
  • Designated a Tree City USA for the past 23 years, indicating their meeting objectives in the planting, maintenance, and preservation of the urban forest.

According to Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson, “The Sustainable Maryland Certified award was a tremendous achievement for the City of Bowie in 2013, and it is no less of an achievement in 2016.  This award is very special because it was accomplished together as a community. I am very proud of our volunteers, staff, and other community leaders for their continued help and support. I look forward to working with Sustainable Maryland for many years to come.”  

“Every year, the Environmental Finance Center is proud to welcome more municipalities to the Sustainable Maryland community,” said Dan Nees, director of the Environmental Finance Center. “The incredible growth of this program demonstrates that so many communities across the state are dedicated to healthier, more sustainable futures. The shared commitment of local elected officials, municipal staff and Green Team volunteers in these diverse towns and cities are a testament to Maryland's vision of resilience."


The attached photo shows (from left) Kristin Larson (Sustainability Planner) Isaac Trouth (District 4 Councilmember), Awilda Hernandez (City Clerk), Sue Livera (Vice-Chair of Green Team), Mati Bazurto (Chair of Green Team) with the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference last Friday.

Also attached is Bowie’s Sustainable Maryland Certified logo.

For detailed information about Bowie’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Kristin Larson at 301-809-3044 or


Sustainable Maryland Certification: To achieve certification, municipalities are required to form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials; complete a variety sustainability-related Actions worth a total of at least 150 points (including two mandatory actions and two of six priority actions), and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied. The Sustainable Maryland Action Menu can be seen here:

The complete list of 2016 newly certified and re-certified (denoted by *) communities includes:

*City of Annapolis (Anne Arundel County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

*Town of Bladensburg (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

*City of Bowie (2016 “Sustainability Champion” for highest point total award; Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

Town of Colmar Manor (Prince George’s County)

*City of College Park (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

*Town of Edmonston (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

*City of Frederick (Frederick County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

*City of Gaithersburg (Montgomery County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

City of Havre de Grace (Harford County)

*City of Hyattsville (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2013, re-certified in 2016)

Town of Middletown (Frederick County)

Town of Ocean City (Worcester County)

City of Salisbury (the first municipality to be certified in Wicomico County)

Town of Thurmont (Frederick County)

According to Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland, “The annual Sustainable Maryland Certified awards are a testament to the passion and dedication of volunteers, municipal staff and elected officials on our Green Teams, and the innovative projects and plans they have completed towards improving the quality of life in their communities and reducing our collective footprint on the planet. This year, we are especially pleased by the successful re-certification of the first four Sustainable Maryland Certified municipalities from 2013, which speaks volumes about both the value communities place on our certification designation, and the sustainability of the municipal Green Team/Action Plan framework we have created here in Maryland.”


Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipalities as of 2016 (5th full year of the program):

  • Number of Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Certified: 36 (23% of Maryland’s municipalities)
  • Number of Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Registered: 66 (42% of Maryland’s municipalities)

About Sustainable Maryland: 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. This free and voluntary program, with the support of the Maryland Municipal League, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Town Creek Foundation, 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. For more information about Sustainable Maryland: