Mount Rainier Re-Certified in Sustainable Maryland Program, Named "2015 Sustainability Champion"

Posted by Mike H on Nov 01, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2015

Contact: Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager, Sustainable Maryland, 301 405-7956, mikeh75@umd.edu

Mount Rainier Receives Prestigious Sustainable Maryland Certified Award at Maryland Municipal League Conference – And is 2015 “Sustainability Champion” for Highest Points

College Park, MD (October 29, 2015) – The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland announced that The City of Mount Rainier was one of twelve Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference held in Cambridge this week.

Mount Rainier is this year’s Sustainable Maryland “Sustainability Champion”, amassing an impressive 495 points on their application, more than any other community that was certified in 2015.

Joseph Jakuta, Mayor Malinda Miles and MaryLee Haughwout

Mount Rainier was one of the first four Maryland municipalities to become Sustainable Maryland Certified when the program launched in 2012, and successfully became re-certified again this year.

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

Highlights of Mount Rainier’s accomplishments include:

  • Installed a solar array on top of City Hall, which produces about approximately 14,000 kilowatt hours/year and reduces energy costs approximately $8,000 annually

  • Created a Bicycle Coop to enable residents of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area to own, maintain, and ride bicycles affordably.

  • Formed a Corn Bin Cooperative to help supply residents with bio-fuel for home heating

  • Operates a community garden program with 32 plots

  • Created more than 300 bicycle parking spaces through installation of bike racks in the city’s downtown historic core

  • Created a Bicycle Master Plan and a Green Infrastructure Master Plan

  • Created a Carbon Footprint Report that illustrates the city’s energy usage across buildings, vehicles and operations

  • Adopted a tree ordinance in order to better protect, preserve, and promote Mount Rainier’s urban forest

  • Developed a waste reduction guide with handy information for residents on recycling and local businesses and programs that help support waste reduction and reuse

"Mount Rainier's Sustainable Maryland re-certification is an indicator of how serious Mount Rainier and its residents are about helping to reduce the size of our footprint on Mother Earth,” said Mayor Malinda Miles.  “ Going green in Mount Rainier is a way of life, not the next thing that is ‘trending.’  Going green has been a priority in Mount Rainier long before it became fashionable, and our amazing Green Team has worked with Mayor and Council to capture and document the City’s work in this area."

“We are excited to welcome more municipalities to the growing Sustainable Maryland community,” said Dan Nees, director of the Environmental Finance Center. “This program is a hallmark of our work at the Environmental Finance Center, guiding communities towards healthier, more sustainable futures. Each certification award represents the commitment of local elected officials, municipal staff and Green Team volunteers in these towns and cities to create a stronger, more resilient Maryland.” 

The attached photo shows (from left) Green Team member Joseph Jakuta, Mayor Malinda Miles, and Green Team Chairperson MaryLee Haughwout with the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference this week.

Also attached is Mount Rainier’s Sustainable Maryland Certified logo.

For detailed information about Mount Rainier’s sustainability initiatives, please contact Green team Chairperson MaryLee Haughwout at 608-287-6445 or mhaughwout@hotmail.com

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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: http://sustainablemaryland.com/actions-certification/actions/

The complete list of 2015 newly certified and re-certified (denoted by *) communities includes:

*Town of Berlin (Worcester County; the very first municipality to be certified in the program in 2012, re-certified in 2015)

City of Brunswick (Frederick County)

City of Cambridge (first municipality certified in Dorchester County)

Town of Centreville (first municipality certified in Queen Anne’s County)

*Town of Chestertown (Kent County; first certified in 2012, re-certified in 2015)

Town of Easton (first municipality certified in Talbot County)

Town of Emmitsburg (Frederick County)

City of Hagerstown (Washington County)

City of Laurel (Prince George’s County)

*City of Mount Rainer (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2012, re-certified in 2015)

Town of Poolesville (Montgomery County)

*City of Rockville (Montgomery County; first certified in 2012, re-certified in 2015)

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 2012, 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.”

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Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipalities as of 2015 (4th full year of the program):

  • Number of Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Certified: 30 (19% of Maryland’s municipalities)

  • Number of Municipalities Sustainable Maryland Registered: 58 (37% 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: www.sustainablemaryland.com

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