Chestertown receives Sustainable Maryland Certified Award

Linda Hanley and Green Team chairman Jon Hanley of Chestertown show off the Sustainable Maryland Certified award that was presented at the Maryland Municipal League’s fall conference Oct. 12.

ANNAPOLIS — The Town of Chestertown is one of eight Maryland municipalities to be honored at the Sustainable Maryland awards ceremony Oct. 12 as part of the Maryland Municipal League’s annual fall conference.

Chestertown was previously certified in 2012 and 2015.

This is the seventh full year of the program.

Chestertown has been a certified Tree City USA for 37 years, making it the second longest participating municipality in Maryland.

The town has placed pet waste stations at all of its parks and at Kent County Middle School, with attached signs educating residents on the importance of cleaning up after pets.

Chestertown held its eighth annual Earth Day celebration this year, which featured various green booths and exhibitions.

The Chestertown Farmers Market, in operation since 1981, has twice been voted the No. 1 Small Farmers Market in Maryland by the American Farmland Trust.

“The Town of Chestertown prides itself on being a sustainable community in which to live, work and play,” Mayor Chris Cerino said in a news release issued by Sustainable Maryland.

He thanked the town staff, the Green Team and the residents of Chestertown for working together to achieve this status again in 2018.

Mike Hunninghake, program manager for Sustainable Maryland, said in the news release: “This year’s class of Sustainable Maryland Certified communities represents significant continued progress on sustainability issues, in small towns and large cities, from all across the state. The Green Teams, elected officials and municipal staff that have accomplished so much provide both inspiration and real-world examples for their peers to follow.”

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; and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the certification requirements have been satisfied been met.

Listed here are the newly certified (denoted by *) and re-certified communities: Berlin, the very first municipality to be certified in the program in 2012 and re-certified in 2015; Chestertown; *Cottage City; Emmitsburg, first certified in 2015; Laurel, first certified in 2015; Mount Rainer, first certified in 2012 and re-certified in 2015; Poolesville, first certified in 2015; and Rockville, first certified in 2012 and re-certified in 2015.

Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland. It 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.

According to the news release, 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, U.S. 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.

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