Sustainable Maryland Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Maryland Certification Report of Riverdale Park, a Sustainable Maryland bronze certified applicant.

Riverdale Park was certified on October 08, 2020 with 450 points. Listed below is information regarding Riverdale Park’s Sustainable Maryland efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Maryland contact for Riverdale Park is:

Name:John Lestitian
Title/Position:Town Manager / Town of Riverdale Park
Address:5008 Queensbury Road Riverdale Maryland 20737

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Riverdale Park was approved for in 2020 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • Community Action

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Community Action

    20 Points

    Program Summary: 1. On June 2, 2020 the Council of the Town of Riverdale Park adopted Resolution 2020-R-18 for the purpose of establishing a commitment to policies, programs and initiatives that aim to undo the effects of systemic racism and unequivocally support and defend African Americans and Black people.(See attached document for more information.) 2. The Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative is a collaborative program, launched in 2015, between the Town of Riverdale Park and the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (HYCDC).The initiative offers the Riverdale Park community a rotating, year-round, outdoor, town-wide, sculpture gallery that delights and enlivens the Town, its residents, and its visitors with public artwork. In addition, the initiative emphasizes the creation of promotional opportunities for local artists to extend their audience and their artistic boundaries. See attached document for more information on the process for this initiative. In 2017, the Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) installed five vinyl art wraps to prevent graffiti on traffic control boxes. In collaboration with the City of Hyattsville, TRP has contracted for the placement of four more additional vinyl art wraps by 2020. For these new locations, TRP is soliciting artists to submit proposals with the theme of sustainability. There are at least 20 more installations planned to complete the project.

    Participation in MD Green Schools

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In 2019 Riverdale Elementary School (RES) and Parkdale High School were recertified as Green Schools through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). Both schools were first certified as Level One Green Schools in 2015. Opening in 2018 in a newly constructed 50,000 square foot facility on Rivertech Court in the Town of Riverdale Park is College Park Academy, a public charter school. College Park Academy’s intent to apply for Green School status in 2020 was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the attached 2020 document for a description of sustainability related projects at RES. The largest project was a low impact development retrofit that manages stormwater runoff from approximately 70 percent of the school’s impervious surface footprint.

    Conduct Community Barriers and Benefits Assessment

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Since 2017, and in response to the Riverdale Park Food System Stakeholder Analysis Report completed by the SIT Graduate Institute in 2013, the town has implemented an extraordinary number of programs to address the local food consumption and production needs of residents. These programs include planting a Food Forest where residents are free to take fresh produce grown by the town and volunteers. The Bountiful Buckets program that provides plants and soil for those without yards to grow and harvest vegetables on their patio or balconies. The town’s Carryout Cash Program, subsidizing a 20% increase for online purchase of gift cards to use at local restaurants. In addition, the town funds multiple programs at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market to support those in need of affordable, healthy food including $3000 to those eligible for SNAP funds, the Farmers Market Dollars Program for those ineligible for SNAP, and a Direct Benefit Groceries Program allocating $2700 to assist families with children in Riverdale Elementary in desperate need. The town was able to provide vouchers to over 54 families between March 25, 2020 and June 19, 2020 through this program. See applicable sections of this application for more details on these programs. Furthermore, the town has promoted food security thru the Town Crier by regularly including information on SNAP assistance, the Capital Area Food Bank, and Prince George's County Food Equity Council Food Assistance Resources.

    Participate in SM Green Team Training

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Members of the Green Team have participated in various training sessions provided by the dedicated Sustainable Maryland staff. Sessions have oriented new members to the certification program, have served as opportunities for sharing and relationship building among other Sustainable Maryland communities and have provided workshop style training on specific sustainability topics. See the attached 2020 document for training dates, photos, sign-in sheet and training presentation.

    Green Team Action Plan

    10 Points

    Program Summary: This plan contains the actions the Sustainability Committee will champion to both engage residents and support the Town government in achieving the vision and commitment to sustainability. Since the Town’s Sustainable Maryland re-certification in 2017, the Town government has implemented many new sustainability initiatives. The Town has benefited from a valued partnership with the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, Community Outreach and Engagement Program and has committed to nurture and expand the partnership. And the Sustainability Committee has acquired new members who are providing inertia to engage with more Town residents to accomplish actions that will maintain Sustainable Maryland certification and continued growth in the vision of Riverdale Park as a sustainable community.

    Create Sustainability Resource Center

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) community can find local resources on current and future actions the Town is taking to improve sustainability on a hub for sustainability information. TRP’s hub for sustainability information was given a new home on the Town of Riverdale Park website at The page links to the Town’s Sustainability Vision and Commitment, as well as containing a list of quick links to information on the Green Team, community walks, and other programs and initiatives as well as those of external entities that support the community and enable the community’s sustainability vision.

    Green Team

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park’s Sustainability Committee has existed since October 1, 2012. The Town Council appoints members of the committee. Additionally, there are other dedicated and caring residents who continually step forward and support the Town Vision for Sustainability. The sum of these forces for sustainability is often referred to as the “Green Team”. This growing group of residents is dedicated to making the Town of Riverdale Park, as well as neighboring communities, more sustainable. Starting in 2020 the Green Team meets on the first Wednesday of each month. See some of our more recent meeting minutes attached to the Green Team 2020 document.

  • Community Based Food System

    Establish CSA Drop-off Location

    10 Points

    Program Summary: ECO City Farms’ Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a farm share program that links consumers and local farmers together to share the bounty and risks inherent in farming. The consumer provides the funds needed to farm upfront, and in return, can expect the farmers to supply a bag of fresh produce each week. The Town of Riverdale Park’s Farmers’ Market teamed up with EcoCity Farms to establish a drop off location at Riverdale Park’s Farmers’ Market. A CSA drop-off location is centrally located in Riverdale Park’s Town Center. Riverdale Park’s Farmers’ Market runs all year long as does the CSA with a winter, spring/summer, and fall CSA. ECO City Farms grows vegetables and produce during the winter under greenhouse type structures called hoophouses, and offer a Winter CSA. Residents can sign up for the CSA at

    Establish Local Farmers Market

    15 Points

    Program Summary: The Riverdale Park Farmers Market (Market), a vibrant feature of the Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) continually strives to be an accessible way for all neighbors to share in its values and benefits. Each Thursday from 3-7 pm, year round, “producer only” vendors gather at Riverdale Park’s Town Center to display, educate, and sell local, high quality organic and conventionally grown fresh vegetables and fruits, award-winning honey, European-style baked goods, pasture-fed meats, bedding plants, artisan breads, hand-made soaps, pottery, jams and jellies, cheeses, and freshly cut flowers. All goods are locally grown or made. The Market also features the talents of local musicians and artisans during warmer months. Jim Coleman, the Riverdale Park Farmers Market market coordinator in conjunction with the Farmers Market Board has developed a robust marketing strategy including a website, electronic newsletters, social media and printed ads in local news sources. See the attached 2020 documents for more information and like

    Community Gardens

    15 Points

    Program Summary: The Community Garden planned for 2020 has evolved in concept. Rather than the traditional model of persons or families renting, growing, and harvesting their own crops, the Food Forest is intended to be a communal project to support those residents who are experiencing food insecurity. With a goal to produce the highest yield possible, the consulting agriculturalist from the University of Maryland recommended a “high yield bed” which includes summer and winter squashes, eggplant, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, swiss chard, kale, basil, beets, and parsley. The Town purchased the seeds and seedlings, and with the help of volunteers, planted the first crops in 2020. There has been no shortage of volunteers to maintain the beds, and “Food Forest Warriors” are excited for their first year’s yield. Fruit tree planting is expected to begin in fall 2020. The outreach plan to inform and educate the community about this new resource is being drafted, and will be complete in time for harvesting in fall 2020.

  • Energy

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Energy

    25 Points

    Program Summary: 1. Pepco launched its EV Charging Network in Prince George’s County in 2019. Pepco has plans to install and operate 250 electric charging stations across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties within the next four years. The TRP has taken advantage of the program to locally reduce overall emissions, encourage residents to purchase electric vehicles, and become a more sustainable community. In the spring of 2020, The Town of Riverdale Park entered into an agreement with Pepco to install two stations in the Riverdale Town Center near the 410 overpass. Installation is planned to be complete by November 2020.(See 2020 document for more information.) 2. In June 2020, Riverdale Park replaced the 5,400 sq. ft. flat roof on its Town Hall building located at 5008 Queensbury Road. A white roof is painted with solar reflective white coating and reflects up to 90% of sunlight (as opposed to traditional black roofs which reflect only 20%). White roofs can reduce summer energy use by 10–40% by leaving the interior cooler than it would otherwise be, saving money and preventing pollution. Riverdale Park is the second municipality in the state to incorporate the white roof technology. 3. 2020 UPDATE: In this reporting period there has been no change in the number of LED lights within the Town. However, the Town has approved the FY 21 Budget with $10,000 for the purchase of a minimum of six LED retrofits. 2017 UPDATE: Using it's participation in the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program (MSEC) the Town of Riverdale Park replaced 31 175 watt streetlights with 71 watt LED bulbs. LEDs are highly energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. Receipts and grant documentation are attached. 4. Town Council passed resolutions in 2015 for 2 of 3 required policies to be accepted as a new Maryland Smart Energy Community (2015-R-13 SMART Energy Efficiency and 2015-R-14 Petroleum use reduction). The Town submitted and was funded for an eligible project LED replacements. The resolutions can be found at

    Municipal Energy Audits

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park has forged an agreement with Pepco, the public utility, EVsmart program. This program provides its customers with rebates, tools, and information that they need to go electric. Pepco has plans to install and operate 250 electric charging stations across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties within the next four years, and the Town is taking advantage of the program to locally reduce overall emissions, encourage residents to purchase electric vehicles, and become a more sustainable community. There will be two charging stations installed within the municipality’s borders early in 2020, at Town Center Market and the other at a location adjacent to the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. Both are within walking distance of Town Hall and located near restaurants and other shops. Not only will these charging stations be facilitating sustainability within the Town, they will also be providing economic development to the municipality by incentivizing electric vehicle owners, waiting for their ZEV to be charged, to support the local economy while they wait. The Town projects that the two electric vehicle charging stations will be completed and fully operational before the end of 2020.

  • Greenhouse Gas

    Municipal Carbon Footprint

    15 Points

    Program Summary: In 2017, the Town of Riverdale Park compiled a Municipal Carbon Footprint that encompassed vehicle fuel consumption and electricity and natural gas consumption in municipal buildings. The report determined that the Town of Riverdale Park (TRP or the Town) produces a total of 931,015 lbCO2 per year from electricity (69,391 lbCO2), transportation fuel (792,045 lbCO2), and natural gas for heating and hot water (69,579 lbCO2). Furthermore, the report determined that full electrification of the municipal vehicle fleet would save 533,419 lbCO2 (67% reduction). The Municipal Carbon Footprint Report noted that if the Town installed a white roof, as included in the 2017 request for proposals for the Town Hall renovation, the Town would reduce energy consumption overall due to significantly lower air conditioning requirement during hot months. To report full circle, the Town just installed the 5400 sq ft. EPDM white roof in June 2020. In addition, the TRP Police Department has allocated approximately $54,500 each year starting in fiscal year 2019 in order to lease-to-own four new hybrid police cruisers to replace “deadlined, high mileage fleet vehicles.TRP is pursuing increased opportunities for police officers to further engage with the community during the spring and summer months by conducting periodic police bicycle patrols. Starting in 2019, TRP began an employee residency initiative which can cut down the carbon emissions from employees driving from far away residences. For many years TRP maintained an above ground fuel tank, next to the Public Works building and very near the Wells Run channel, that contained 4,000 gallons of gasoline and 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel and was a concern to TRP due to its proximity to the Wells Run tributary to the Anacostia River. TRP decommissioned the tank in early 2020 and sold the tank to an Oil Company in South Carolina. The tank will be removed in July 2020. the Town will look at their Pepco budget and consider using cleaner energy sources through Pepco. TRP has considerable potential to lower its carbon footprint after recording future energy bill usage using the Energy Star Manager Portfolio program.

  • Health & Wellness

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Health & Wellness

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park sponsors Community Walks and the annual National Night Out that build social community and encourage the physical health and wellness of its residents. Community Walks have been a great time to meet new people and discuss opportunities for or concerns about the community. Community Walks have also included micro clean-ups as litter is collected along the way. National Night Out has been an annual community-building event, held on the first Tuesday in August, that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Find out more at (See 2020 document for more information and great photos)

    Workplace Wellness Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park, Maryland has instituted an employee wellness program in addition to many other workplace wellness activities. The program is intended to improve the health and productivity of employees and potentially reduce overall costs for employer-provided health care. See the attached 2020 document for more information on the Employee Wellness Program, the Employee Wellness Fund, the Safety Committee, the Employee Flu Shot Clinic, Everything Events, a meeting with Cigna, and the annual Dodge Ball game.

  • Local Economies

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Local Economies

    20 Points

    Program Summary: 1. Main Street Maryland: In 2020, the Town of Riverdale Park submitted its application to join the Maryland Main Street Affiliate Program (MMSAP). MMSAP is an on-ramp program for smaller communities working toward Main Street Maryland designation. Becoming a Maryland Main Street Affiliate will provide the Town access to a framework and guidance that will assist the community’s efforts to improve the Town Center. Riverdale Park’s application to the MMSAP represents the first step in a multiple-year effort to become a full-fledged Main Street Maryland community. (See attached document.) 2."Carryout Cash" Resident - Restaurant - Town Partnership: In 2018, the Town Mayor and Council adopted Resolution 2018-R-05 establishing a commitment statement for Business and Economic Development that delineates in part that the attraction, retention and expansion of business and economic development activities are recognized as the foundation upon which strong and sustainable communities are built. In March 2020, the Town Mayor and Council adopted Resolution 2020-R-12 to support food options for Town residents, and promote Town restaurants through a direct partnership with the Town. (See attached document.) 3. CKAR Partnership with SARVIS Cafe and Greater Riverdale Cares

    Implement Waste Reduction Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The municipality continues to make small changes that add up to achieve operational efficiency and waste reduction. (See the attached 2020 document.) Since 2017, the town has automated processes, increased dependence on electronic documents, encouraged reuse of drinking containers by staff, increased the amount of information available electronically to staff and the public, and installed energy efficient light sensors in the Town Hall restrooms. Staff continue to make meeting materials available for Town Council meetings electronically. The transition to paperless governance is not only fiscally prudent in annual printing and supply costs, but has allowed greater opportunity for transparency in government through timely postings of electronic documents on the town website. Since 2012, the town Resolution Towards Greater Transparency and Paperless Governance (2012-R-21) reduced the time spent by town staff in preparing council materials and binders for Work Session and Legislative Meetings by enabling paperless management of documents for multiple platforms such as tablets, desktops, laptops, smart phones.

    Green Purchasing Policy

    15 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park government has re-circulated its Sustainable Purchasing Policy adopted in 2014 to alert new staff and remind all staff of the importance of buying green. The Sustainable Purchasing Policy was established by Resolution 2014-R-07 and applies when making purchases for Town supplies and services. The policy has four primary goals: Reduction of Hazardous Materials, Efficient Use of Resources, Reduction of Waste, and Energy Efficiency. The policy includes a Vendor Preference Statement to: “ business with companies that are locally owned, sell products or services that comply with environmentally preferable purchasing guidelines, produce minimal waste and use recycled products and environmentally preferable purchasing practices.” See the attached document for examples of the policy in action.

    Join Maryland Green Registry

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park first joined the Maryland Green Registry in 2014. Per the Registry's membership requirements, the Town updated their profile after three years in 2017, and has again in June 2020. The updated submission includes recent items such as the 2019 Earth Day Community Cleanup and recent retrofits to use LEDs in Town streetlights. The Town is also promoting the Registry by reaching out to the Riverdale Park Business Association, which will publicize the Registry to its members in an upcoming issue of its internal publication, The Biz, as a way to publicly promote its member businesses and their sustainable actions.

    Local Purchasing Preference Policy

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park strives towards continued quality of life improvements and a thriving and inviting economy for small businesses. Riverdale Park’s Town Council passed the Resolution 2014-R-06 on May 4, 2014 (attached, also can be found on the town's website here: ) with the goal of establishing a local purchasing preference policy that takes into consideration the multiplier effect of purchasing goods and services from local independent businesses. The resolution remains in effect today. Supporting local independent businesses benefits a municipality's finances by boosting local economic activity, employment, and ultimately tax revenue. The Town, resident business, and community residents benefit from the dollars spent locally because usually it generates additional economic activity even beyond the value of the initial contract as the local supplier in turn sources goods and services locally. The Mayor and Town Council of Riverdale Park remain committed to supporting local businesses. The town does not use the vendor preference statement form, because the town is the licensing authority for businesses and already has the information that is requested on the form. The Town makes every effort to utilize local businesses when making purchases. See attached 2020 list of local vendors used. For larger purchases, the Town utilizes a request for proposal (RFP) process that includes distribution of the RFP through eMaryland Marketplace ( eMaryland Marketplace in an online procurement system that provides vendors with easy access to State and Local Government procurement information. The town also advertises all RFPs on the Town’s website at Sign up for eAlerts to receive notice of new postings on the page.

    Establish Local Business Directory

    10 Points

    Program Summary: In 2017, the Riverdale Park Sustainability Committee worked with the Riverdale Park Business Association, the Town of Riverdale Park government, and local business owners in order to create Riverdale Park’s Business Directory. The business directory promotes and supports local businesses and encourages patronage from nearby residents. The business directory was fully updated in the summer of 2020. It is prominently posted on the town website’s Local Resources page at Another promotional activity that ties into businesses in the directory is the Celebrating Business Initiative. This initiative celebrates new and existing businesses operating in the Town of Riverdale Park. Grand Openings and anniversaries (5-year increments) are celebrated through this initiative.!_grants_&_intiatives/celebrating_business_initiative.php

    Buy Local Campaign

    15 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) has encouraged shopping at local businesses through its promotion of Small Business Saturday 2019 and the Holiday Festival and Festival of Lights during the holiday season in 2017, 2018, and 2019. TRP also registered as a Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday, promoted the event in the Town Center and handed out information at the Riverdale Park Farmer’s Market in November. TRP staff emailed details about the event to all local businesses. The Town also published details on promoting Small Business Saturday through the Town’s outreach channels (flyers, social media, website, etc.) encouraging the public to “spread the message to support small businesses”. TRP has also hosted a Holiday Market and Festival of Lights every second Saturday in December in 2017, 2018, and 2019 from noon to 8 pm in coordination with the Riverdale Park Farmers Market. The town continues to support local businesses in more ways that include: Economic Development Week promoting local businesses in 2019: Small Business Assistance Programs:

  • Natural Resources

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Natural Resources

    50 Points

    Program Summary: 1. The Town of Riverdale Park, Maryland (TRP) initiated a program called the Accessory Structure Grant Program in 2018. The program’s objective is to enhance the overall appearance of residential properties, produce high-quality housing and neighborhoods, and mitigate certain types of environmental issues.The project has been successful, providing funding to four families in the Town of Riverdale Park, with over $16,300 distributed in total. Riverdale Park is working to provide a safer, sustainable, and more aesthetically pleasing community for its residents, and the Accessory Structure Grant Program is helping to accomplish that. The "Go Green" Initiative, established by Resolution 2019-R-08, is a matching grant program that fulfills the Towns desire to partner with residents on various sustainable and green projects to enhance residential properties and to promote sustainable and green practices throughout the neighborhoods of the Town of Riverdale Park. The grants aid town residents seeking to install or expand rain gardens, rain barrels, and other stormwater management projects that demonstrate a significant reduction in stormwater run-off; and to install or expand solar power systems. For fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020) the Town allocated $6000 to the program. 2 After fruitful discussions between the Green Teams of the Town of Riverdale Park and University Park, TRP may finally have a chance to make composting in Town a reality! The proximity of the Town to the University of Maryland (UMD) often leads to symbiotic relationships between the two entities. Students from UMD’s Environmental Science and Policy Program recently conducted a survey to determine the feasibility of a Town composting program. The Green Team is hopeful that the Town will have a program in place soon to complement the Town’s Food Forest and by turning food scraps into nutrient-rich soil to sustainably grow our fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 3. The Town of Riverdale Park (Town) partners with the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Community Development Corporation (CKAR), a 501c(3) that forms and nurtures strategic business partnerships that strengthen and promote the social, environmental, and economic development of the Town and Greater Riverdale, including East Riverdale neighborhoods. There have been several environmental projects with trees and a rain garden during this certification period. In addition, the Sustainability Committee set up and manned a sustainability-themed, outreach table about pollinators as part of the kick-off event to start the yearlong celebration of the town's 100th anniversary since incorporation (June 1920). Approximately 250 people attended the event. See the attached document for more details on these items. 4. The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP or Town) is committed to creating a healthy environment for its residents and reducing its environmental impact. One strategy that supports both goals is to increase tree canopy coverage. Trees reduce ambient temperature, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and improve public health. Although the town did not receive a certificate as Tree City in 2019, multiple initiatives have addressed the objectives of the Arbor Day Foundation Program. TRP has created a Town Tree Plan and has increased its inventory to more than 900 tagged trees along town streets. The Town sponsors annual Arbor Day tree plantings in which Town staff join Riverdale Elementary School (RES) staff and students to plant trees. For its 2020 Centennial celebration, which has now been postponed until a later date, the Town is hiring an arborist to pick locations to plant 100 trees and identify trees that are 100 years old or older.Lastly, the Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Community Development Corporation (CKAR CDC) planted more than 100 trees and shrubs during its Fall 2018 Go Green Plant Trees campaign at no cost to local business and residents. Maryland PLANT (People Loving and Nurturing Trees) Community Award; The Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee, of the MD Association of District Forestry Boards in partnership with the MD Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service presented the Town of Riverdale Park, with the Green People Loving and Nurturing Trees Award for 2019. This award recognized the Town's enthusiasm and hard work in planting and caring for trees in our local urban and community forests.

    Adopt a Pet Waste Ordinance

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Riverdale Park Pet Waste Ordinance is still in effect. It appears in Chapter 10 of the Code of the Town of Riverdale Park. Section 10-9 prohibits people from leaving their pet’s waste on public property or, without the consent of the owner, on private property. Section 10-10 provides the penalties for infractions of section 10-9. This Pet Waste Ordinance helps to protect the tributaries of the Anacostia River. Pet owners caught violating the TRP ordinance by Neighborhood Services are fined $50 for their first violation. Subsequent violations are set at $100, and then $250.

    Develop a Pet Waste Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Pet Waste Management Program for the Town of Riverdale Park has been built upon a cooperative effort between Town staff, who have purchased and maintained the dog waste stations, and members of the Friends of Waggertail Dog Park (FoWDP). The program has been enhanced through the Town’s purchase of 4 more dog waste stations, modeling of responsible behavior by FoWDP members, articles in The Riverdale Park Town Crier, outreach materials posted on the Town Web site at and postings on the Waggertail Dog Park Facebook social media page, 2020 UPDATE: The Town maintains seven (7) pet waste stations, three (3) in Waggertail Dog Park and four (4) more along the Trolley Trail. No additional stations have been installed, although the Town has committed to add six (6) stations from Prince George’s County Department of the Environment in the next year.

    Implement a Pet Waste Education Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of Riverdale Park’s (TRP) pet waste education program aims to promote responsible pet ownership through increasing public awareness of how pet waste impacts water quality and the health of the community. The RPSC began the pet waste education program in 2014 with a focus on educating residents about how removing pet waste from public and private property benefits the health of the community and helps protect our natural resources. The pet waste education program has provided information in the town’s monthly publication, The Town Crier, distributed educational flyers, and provided information and pet waste bags at local events. Prince George’s County outreach materials for “Scoop that Poop” are available at public events and at Town Hall. Most recently at the June 2019 event to kick off for the Town’s Centennial Celebration, the RPSC hosted an informational table with activities around the importance of picking up pet waste. In March 2020, Sustainable Maryland selected the Town to participate in Prince George’s County’s Pet Waste Management Initiative by providing the Town with outreach marketing campaign materials and pet waste stations. This program offers up to six pet waste stations at no cost to the participating municipality. Participating locations receive customized marketing materials with their town’s logo, and a starter kit of bags. In exchange, the town will install the stations, replenish their supply of bags, and track and report usage of bags and waste volume. A robust and collegiate core of users of the local dog park, Waggertail Dog Park, continue to model responsible behavior, and to educate and encourage all who visit. The Waggertail Dog Park Facebook social media page, has added new members and reinvigorated its activities. This platform will be used to continually educate park users and to garner more support around pet waste issues. The Park has active volunteers who routinely clean up waste left by others, and plan to work with the TRP to increase educational signage around the Park, while adding pet waste bag stations in the other needed areas. During the kick-off celebration of the town's 100th anniversary since incorporation (June 1920) the Sustainability Committee set up and manned an outreach table about the importance of properly disposing of dog waste. Approximately 250 people attended the event. See attached document for more details.

    Provide Voluntary Opportunities for Citizen Engagement in Watershed Stewardship

    10 Points

    Program Summary: 1. The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) has collaborated with the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) in 2017, 2018, and 2019 to host sites for their annual Earth Day clean-ups. Combined with over 30 other sites that participate in the Maryland counties of Prince Georges and Montgomery as well as within Washington D.C., this regional effort removes trash and other debris impacting the environmental health of the watershed. TRP selected sites because of their proximity to the North Branch of the Anacostia River. TRP provided staff support to pick up supplies from AWS as well as providing additional supplies for volunteers (e.g. tables for volunteer sign in, gloves, grab sticks, and snacks). Each year the town promoted the event in the Town Crier. Between 30 and 45 volunteers participated each year. Student volunteers earned community service hours for participating. The 2020 event has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is currently scheduled to be held at Riverside Neighborhood Park (Riverside Dr, Riverdale, MD 20737) on October 3. The Town of Riverdale Park is fortunate to have so much beautiful green space and we will continue to work to keep it clean! See the 2020 document for more information and lots of great photos! 2. The Town advertised and assisted with the June 8, 2019 Wells Run Clean-up organized by members of the community. (See attached flyer for the event.)

    Facilitate Engagement in Existing Watershed Stewardship Opportunities

    15 Points

    Program Summary: Riverdale Park is located within the 176 square mile area of land that feeds into the Anacostia River and its tributaries. In turn, the Anacostia carries that water into the Potomac River where it eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. One of the Anacostia’s 13 major tributaries is the Northeast Branch. This branch of the river runs through Riverdale Park. It is crucial to educate and engage the surrounding community to understand the importance and take action to protect this natural resource. The Town of Riverdale Park promotes the Town’s Vision for Sustainability through outreach at in-person events as well as through social media. The Social Media Outreach initiative expands our reach in sharing information. The Town’s website remains the primary source for electronic information. Facebook, Twitter and instagram accounts expand efforts to amplify messaging. At this time of great change, it is important that residents and businesses assist the Town in growing our social media outreach. We established a goal to have 1,500 Facebook followers by May 31, 2020 and we met and surpassed our goal with 1,633! We now know that 2,000 is possible. If you haven’t visited, liked, and followed our Facebook page please do so. If you already have, encourage your neighbors, friends, and business associates to do the same. Link: The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) is also active on the following social media platforms and ask that you join us: Instagram: Twitter: Youtube: 6xwTyPJculj7vuCQ/videos?view_as=subscriber The information shared across the website and social media is framed around promoting long term interest in our environment. Engagement is enhanced by making these events interesting and enjoyable, and the events run throughout the year. Examples include: Earth Day and Earth Month activities, a Summer Community Picnic that includes environmental and health/wellness information, Composting, Mulching, Sustainable Gardening, seasonal cleanups, recognizing outstanding citizen initiatives, pumpkin composting, and Christmas Tree recycling. In 2020, the town shifted away from in person events, offering sustainable gardening information, a remote clean up log for citizens to track their own family’s activity, an Earth Day playlist featuring environmentally friendly messages, and reminding citizens that masks and gloves are to be disposed of appropriately. The Town advertised and assisted with the June 8, 2019 Wells Run Clean-up organized by members of the community. (See attached flyer for the event.) The Town increases awareness and access to watershed stewardship information through regular promotion of programs and events in the Town Crier, distributed to all Town residences and available on the website. The April 2019 issue is a typical example that promoted Earth Day Clean-up, the Rain Check Rebate Program and the Pepco Free Tree Giveaway. View this issue at By sharing colorful flyers and engaging photos of residents participating in events and community initiatives, the town encourages citizens of all ages to do their part to protect our watershed, to beautify shared spaces, and to increase their contribution to the sustainability of the Town.

    Create a Watershed Plan

    20 Points

    Program Summary: 1. The Town Council has ongoing discussions about the Watershed Management recommendations presented and submitted to the Town Council by the University of Maryland Capstone class in 2017. The report is attached. The Town Council is having discussions to formally adopt a resolution to enact the recommendations in this report or something similar in Fall 2020. The report recommends rain gardens, construction of swales, use of rain barrels, economic incentives for installing green infrastructure (like PG's rain check rebate program), and holistic policy to implement stormwater mgt practices at the community level. The Town has implemented recommendations in the report. The Town has promoted the Rain Check Rebate Program ( through the Town Crier (April 2019) and on the town website. In October 2019 the Town created the Go Green Grant incentive program (!_grants_&_intiatives/go_green_initiative.php). And the town’s newest development, Riverdale Park Station, has been developed to minimize and mitigate stormwater management issues. The development’s website specifically includes information on stormwater improvements directly related to Wells Run. In addition, the Town is committed to finding a sustainable future for Wells Run in support of the greater Anacostia Watershed, while safeguarding the properties of local citizens. The Town will continue to engage with the County, MNCPPC, and other stakeholders to explore opportunities to green existing infrastructure along Wells Run. With these diverse stakeholders, it has been difficult to organize a comprehensive strategy for stormwater management. This is further compounded by the fact that Prince George’s County owns the concrete that lines the banks of Wells Run. When the channel was created, the goal was to usher stormwater through town as quickly as possible to avoid flooding. This, unfortunately, has had a negative impact on the health of the Anacostia Watershed. The Town Director of Public Works and the Mayor participated in a Wells Run Culvert Walk on Saturday, February 1, 2020 with County Councilmember Glaros and representatives from MNCPPC, the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation to assess re-naturalizing the channel. 2. Waggertail Dog Park (WDP) is a popular amenity to the community. In total it is two acres in size with .78 acres for large and medium dogs and .21 acres for small dogs. After heavy or prolonged rain events, it suffers from significant stormwater pooling in both dog areas. The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) has added four truckloads of topsoil to the low-lying swale area in an effort to minimize standing water. TRP continues to investigate the drainage issues which stem from stormwater run-off from the neighboring residential Tuckerman Street. If new trees and topsoil amendment are inadequate to eliminate standing water, TRP will consider more aggressive, long-term solutions for hazard mitigation and stormwater management.

  • Planning & Land Use

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Planning & Land Use

    40 Points

    Program Summary: 1. The Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) has two main bike trails: The Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail and the Northeast Branch Trail. Both trails are rated highly on The TRP website has a map of the local Anacostia Tributary Trail System that includes both of these trails. The TRP website also posts links that advertise events on the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail, such as the Second Annual Trolley Trail Day on June 13, 2020. 2. In summer 2018, TRP installed a bike repair station and seven, large, additional, bike racks in three locations around town center to encourage the use of bikes when shopping in Town Center or going to the Riverdale Park MARC train station.(See document for vendor information and photos.) Additional improvements to lighting along the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail are underway. Potential projects being planned include lighting along the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail. 3. Revitalizing RP Town Center - UPDATE 2020 - In the three years since the Town's 2017 Sustainable Maryland re-certification, there has literally been a revitalization boom in the Town Center. The opening of four restaurants, a hot yoga studio, a Latino grocery store, enhancements to the Trolley Trail that bisects the center, refurbishment of the historic clock in the Town Center, renaming of the MARC station to Riverdale Park Town Center and the remodel and expansion of the Town Center Market. In addition to these changes, the FY2019 budget included a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) for the creation of an attractive public space near Town Center and under the East-West Highway overpass. The concept of the project is to improve the aesthetics of the area (perhaps with a mural project) and create a much needed public space for community events. In FY2019, the CIP budget included $5000 for design services for the Underpass Improvements project. The FY2020 budget includes $25,000 to continue the focus on design and in FY2021 $25,000 are planned for use to implement the first phase of improvements. University of Maryland, University College students worked over the course of two months in 2013 to assess Riverdale Park’s Town Center. In the attached report, Revitalizing Riverdale Park’s Town Center, long-time vacant Riverdale Park Town Center’s current land uses were assessed and analyzed. The students assessed survey results and developed a proposal that was presented to Riverdale Park’s Town Council on October 28, 2013. This report has served as a conversation starter with councilmen and nearby developers. 4. The Town of Riverdale Park is registered in the National Register of Historic Places as an Historic District. In support of this designation, the Town’s Vision and Statement for Housing and Neighborhoods 2017-R-12 includes the following: “...where historic houses and the character of neighborhoods are valued.” and where “...housing and neighborhoods need to be healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly; where residents participate in reuse and recycling programs and enjoy attractive, walkable and accessible neighborhoods...” See the full resolution at

    Participation in DHCD Sustainable Communities

    20 Points

    Program Summary: In 2020, the Town of Riverdale Park, working with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) completed a renewal application for the Sustainable Communities Program. This application was submitted in June of 2020 and is attached below. In 2015, the Town of Riverdale Park, as a part of the Greater Riverdale area, was approved for a Sustainable Community Designation by the Smart Growth Subcabinet of the Department of Housing and Community Development effective for five years beginning May 13, 2015.

  • Transportation

    Innovative Demonstration Projects - Transportation

    25 Points

    Program Summary: 1. UMD Food Assessment Report - Students under the direction of Caroline Boules, Ph.D from the University of Maryland Campus Community Connection determined that food insecurity is prevalent in certain areas of Riverdale Park. See the attached Food Assessment Report. 2. Food Security Programs - Food security became a priority issue for the Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of TRP’s earliest legislative actions in 2020 were aimed at providing food assistance to TRP’s most at risk residents. These actions are summarized in the attached document, CF_IDP_UMDCaptstone_FoodSecurity. In March, 2020 the Town of Riverdale Park (TRP) introduced a series of initiatives designed to help its residents with the spike in food insecurity caused by COVID-19, including funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars program conducted at the Farmer’s Market, establishing the Farmer’s Market Dollars Program, and the Direct Benefits Grocery Program, that provided vouchers to over 54 families in need. 3. Bountiful Buckets program - The Town of Riverdale Park was one of the first local governments in the county to take immediate action on the issue of food security for its most vulnerable residents as a result of this pandemic crisis. Soon after, the innovative Town staff promoted yet another creative and inspiring solution, Bountiful Buckets, to enable residents to provide essential, nutritious food for their families.The Bountiful Buckets program, a creative extension of the Town’s new Food Forest, addresses this, allowing residents of multi-family buildings to grow and harvest produce on their balconies and patios, turning unused space into a food asset. The town used emergency pandemic funds for this unbudgeted initiative. The Town purchased 70 blue (the town color) buckets, soil, and vegetable plants from Lowe’s, for a total of $463.00. Staff drilled five drainage holes in the bottom of each bucket and added soil and vegetable plants. Outreach to residents in need and minimal delivery costs were covered with staff time and overhead.