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UMD-Born Company Gets $1.2M Investment from New Maryland Momentum Fund

November 10, 2017
Contacts: 

Lee Tune, 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – MF Fire, a University of Maryland-born start-up company offering clean-energy efficient wood stoves at an affordable cost, is the recipient of $1.2 million – the first investment from the recently established Maryland Momentum Fund offered by the University System of Maryland (USM).

The USM Board of Regents created the $25 million fund in 2016 to enable the system to invest in and support promising commercial opportunities arising from advances in research and intellectual property at USM campuses. Other critical sources of money in the $1.2 million funding round include Bill Clarke, a leading clean tech investor.

Photo of UMD alumni Ryan Fisher and Taylor MyersMF Fire was started by students in the  University of Maryland Department of Fire Protection and Engineering (FPE), which offers the only fully accredited undergraduate program of its kind in the U.S.

In 2012, UMD Fire Protection Engineering students Ryan Fisher (B.S. ’12, M.S. ’13, FPE) and Taylor Myers (B.S. '12, M.S. '14, FPE; B.S. '12, astronomy) were challenged with developing an eco-friendly “next-gen wood stove.” Together, the duo assembled a team and created a wood-burning stove, dubbed Catalyst, that differs from traditional models in that, utilizing ‘smart’ technology, users can control the stove’s temperature remotely from a phone or tablet. The internal sensors of each stove allow wood to burn more efficiently, so it lasts longer and burns nearly 60 times cleaner. They licensed the technology from the university and formed their company in 2014.

Fisher - the company COO - and Myers – the CTO – have teamed up with 28-year business veteran and entrepreneur Paul LaPorte (CEO) to develop a commercial model for the company.

“With our Catalyst smart wood stove, MF Fire is pushing the bounds of what is possible in wood heat. For the first time, consumers can expect a clean, safe, efficient and effortless wood stove experience – something totally familiar, yet completely modern,” said LaPorte, the MF Fire CEO. “We have reimagined wood fire as a clean energy source, and used state-of-the-art fire science and technology to bring that vision to life – one that deserves a prominent place, whether in a modern smart home, or a rural cabin.”

The team was excited to learn about the USM investment opportunity.

“There aren’t many venture capital funds in this area, so we applied immediately,” said Fisher.  “We actually pitched our idea to the Maryland Momentum Fund twice, and were thrilled when we heard about their investment.”

David Wise, a longtime regional business innovator now serving as director of the Maryland Momentum Fund said, “We are very excited to have MF Fire as the initial investment from the Momentum Fund. The company offers an efficient product based on combustion science and it emerged out of a center of excellence at the University of Maryland.”

Fisher and Myers are both originally from Frederick County. They went to school at the University of Maryland and then started their business in Baltimore.

“It’s definitely a point of pride for us to keep this entire process so close to home,” Fisher continued.  “We plan to use the funds to increase the visibility of MF Fire around the U.S. and Canada, and to aid in the development of a second product, which will be lower cost and available next winter.”

View a video demonstration of MF's wood stove at https://go.umd.edu/woodstove

 

University of Maryland Dedicates A. James Clark Hall, Transforming Region’s Biotech Corridor

November 10, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland dedicates the new A. James Clark Hall today, a 184,000-square-foot facility that will catalyze engineering innovation and bioengineering breakthroughs and serve as a hub for new partnerships and collaborations throughout the Baltimore-Washington region. A. James Clark Hall is the only space in the nation dedicated to bioengineering and the translation of health-related products that incorporates FDA-funded Centers of Excellence in both Regulatory Science and Pediatric Device Innovation.

 

Photo of exterior of A. James Clark Hall“Great ideas will turn into life-changing devices and biomedical treatments in this magnificent research building,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Our students, faculty, researchers and partners will have what they need to produce bioengineering marvels, as well as advances in other fields.”

 

Made possible by the generosity and vision of the late A. James Clark, an alumnus and long-time supporter of the university; the State of Maryland; alumnus and biomedical pioneer Robert E. Fischell; and other donors, Clark Hall will help UMD attract the best and brightest students and faculty to make groundbreaking research possible. The building offers flexible classrooms, an innovation lab, capacity for collaborative student projects and nearly 40,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratories.  

 

“My father felt the University’s decision to name the School of Engineering after him was the most meaningful honor he would ever receive,” said Courtney Clark Pastrick, board chair of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “I think he would be humbled to have this cornerstone of innovation named in his honor. Our family is proud of its potential to truly transform the future of education and health in our world.”

 

Clark Hall is designed to facilitate collaboration and advance cross-disciplinary work. At the heart of the building’s first floor lies the Leidos Innovation Lab, supported by a donation from the Leidos Corporation. The lab provides 6,800 square feet of space for students to work together on cross-disciplinary research and designs, and features overhead utilities, digital displays and movable workbenches, creating an ideal environment for collaboration.

 

Instructional laboratories and prep areas throughout the building will spur the organic flow of ideas, and a prototyping/fabrication lab will enable innovators to produce instant prototypes of their designs. Two flex classrooms will allow faculty to transform their space into lecture-style rows or small clusters of group tables. Student club rooms will give student startups, competition teams and other groups ample space to develop their ideas and innovations.

 

“Clark Hall embodies the future of multidisciplinary engineering with human impact,” said Darryll J. Pines, dean of the Clark School and Farvardin professor of engineering. “Our engineers have a long history of life-changing innovations, from the implantable insulin pump to 3-D printed vascular grafts. These state-of-the-art facilities will create the next generation of engineers who will advance human health worldwide, transforming millions of lives.”

Photo of interior of A. James Clark Hall

Interior of A. James Clark Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clark Hall will provide world-class research facilities to the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, dedicated to the research and development of new technologies to promote human health. Thanks to the vision and financial support from Fischell, bioengineering has become one of the university’s fastest-growing undergraduate degree programs.

 

"At the center of the region’s biotech corridor, Clark Hall will offer new opportunities for engineers across all eight disciplines to connect with experts from the University of Maryland School of Medicine on innovations that will change the course of human health for decades to come,” said Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and Bioengineering Department Chair John Fisher. “In this way, researchers from both the College Park and Baltimore campuses can utilize resources housed within Clark Hall to tackle challenges in areas ranging from cancer therapeutics and diagnostics to rehabilitation robotics and tissue engineering.”

 

A dedicated instructional lab will house top-notch equipment for a broad range of applications, and an imaging suite with cutting-edge technologies that will allow close examination of the body and brain. A bioengineering computational lab will give UMD engineering students and researchers unprecedented modeling and computing power for critical tasks.

 

Clark Hall will also serve as a hub for new partnerships across the region, bringing students and faculty together with experts from venture firms, research labs, technology companies and federal agencies, to inspire new technologies and improve human health.

 

A high-tech dynamic forum will be available to host national and international conferences, lectures and seminars, and educational programming aimed at convening the broader engineering community. Conference rooms on each floor and the commons and terrace space will provide additional areas for collaboration.

 

The legacy of A. James Clark at the University of Maryland extends beyond Clark Hall. The late A. James Clark never forgot that his business successes began with an engineering scholarship at the University of Maryland. In October 2017, the university announced an unprecedented $219.5 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. Building Together: An Investment for Maryland will increase college access and affordability, inspire the next generation of engineering leaders and spark innovation that tackle today’s most daunting problems.

 

Clark Hall is also made possible by the generosity of T.K. Patrick and Marguerite Sung, Lawrence C. and Melanie Franco Nussdorf, Ronald and Karen Lowman, Rajan and Sandhya Mittu, and Pepco Holdings, Inc.

 

For more information about A. James Clark Hall, visit http://eng.umd.edu/james-clark-hall.

 

For photos of A. James Clark Hall, visit https://go.umd.edu/clarkhallphotos.  

 

What People Are Saying About Clark Hall

Robert E. Fischell: "I was pleased to be able to provide a substantial gift to the School of Engineering to start the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices to encourage future engineering students to create wonderful new medical devices for the benefit of all mankind."

Roger Krone​​, ​Leidos Chairman and CEO: “The Leidos mission ​to make the world safer, healthier and more efficient requires an innovative workforce. ​Leidos proudly supports the University of Maryland’s Fearless Ideas Campaign, further equipping the nation’s future engineering labor pool by using our cutting-edge Leidos Innovation Lab on the first floor of the new A. James Clark Hall.”

T.K. Patrick and Marguerite Sung: “As strong proponents of innovation to enhance human health, we were excited to invest in A. James Clark Hall. We are thrilled to be part of this spectacular building project and look forward to hearing about the many ways Maryland engineers will help improve the human condition through bioengineering solutions.”

Lawrence Nussdorf: “Jim Clark was a builder. He leaves his mark on the building he built, the company that bears his name, the region he helped change, the personal values he passed down to those of us lucky enough to work for him and the good works and young students he endowed and mentored.”

Ron and Karen Lowman: “For an excellent program to continue to succeed, it needs to be continually enriched with the best students, a superior faculty, innovative ideas and improved facilities. We are proud to be a small part of moving the Clark School forward to future success.”

Rajan and Sandhya Mittu: “When we were at the Clark School in the 80’s, there was nothing like Clark Hall. We feel very fortunate that we are able to fund an InTerp Suite, to help aspiring entrepreneurs build their companies.”

 

 

University of Maryland to Offer Application Fee Waiver to U.S. Veterans and Service Members

November 9, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland is proud to announce a new undergraduate college application fee waiver for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Driven by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success--of which UMD is a member--the initiative will allow veterans and current service members to apply for free through the Coalition’s online application. The waiver will be available beginning in August 2018 for students applying for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Photo of UMD student veterans at football game"Given the remarkable service that veterans have provided our country, it's great to be in a position to assist them as they work to further their education,” said Shannon Gundy, UMD’s director of undergraduate admissions. “It is our hope that the fee waiver provided through the Coalition will encourage veterans to take the step of choosing to apply to Coalition schools that are eager to work with them."

“Finding new ways to support veterans at the University of Maryland is one way we can give back to those who have served our country,” said Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, chair of the Veterans Steering Committee and director of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union - Center for Campus Life. “We hope that by making the pathway to education more accessible and removing financial boundaries, veterans will continue to choose UMD as the best choice to further their education.”

Across the country, Coalition members are working to create more opportunities for veterans to attend and graduate from their colleges and universities.

The University of Maryland currently has more than 1,200 student veterans on campus. The university’s Veteran Student Life office offers a hub for resources for student, staff and faculty veterans on campus, and helps support a seamless transition from military life to civilian college life. Programs include health and human services, such as counseling and financial management; transition assistance programs; and Terp Vets, a student-run organization that focuses on outreach, social events and mentorship programs that enhance our student veterans personal and career growth. UMD also has a designated Veterans Center available exclusively for UMD student veterans that offers space to study, receive peer support and interact with fellow veterans. 

UMD has been recognized by Military Times on its “Best for Vets: Colleges” list, which recognizes colleges and universities that are a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. UMD was also ranked No. 29 nationally as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.

Seamlessly integrated into the Coalition’s online application, the fee waiver is easy to use. Applicants indicate their status as “currently serving” or “previously served” in the U.S. Armed Forces, and a list of member schools that honor the waiver will be listed. Qualifying students will then automatically bypass the payment screen when they submit their application.

“Our hope is that this waiver will not only inspire more veterans to apply to Coalition schools, but also convey that our members greatly value their service to our country, and now want to serve them. Plus, with their excellent track record of supporting students — and the graduation rates to prove it — Coalition schools are truly smart college choices for veterans,” said Annie Reznik, executive director of the Coalition.

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is a group of colleges and universities across the U.S. that is committed to making college a reality for all students through its set of free online college planning tools, MyCoalition, that helps them learn about, prepare for, and apply to college.

 

University of Maryland Statement on Amicus Brief in Support of DACA -- November 9, 2017

November 9, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4618

The University of Maryland has joined 49 peer institutions to support a legal challenge to rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Last week in federal court, UMD filed an amicus brief in the case of The Regents of the University of California and Janet Napolitano v. The United States Department of Homeland Security and Elaine Duke, which argues that rescinding the legal protections for DACA students is illegal and unconstitutional.  

“The sacrifices these students and their families have had to make simply to enroll as students at our institutions are legion, and their commitment to bettering themselves and getting the most out of their education is unwavering,” wrote the signatories in the brief. “These extraordinary young people should be cherished and celebrated, so that they can achieve their dreams and contribute to the fullest for our country. Banishing them once more to immigration limbo—a predicament they had no part in creating—is not merely cruel, but irrational.”

The university will continue to identify avenues for offering support to our DACA students and to advocate for a restoration of their legal protections.

UMD Community Members Reflect on Fraught Times

November 8, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - As the University of Maryland continues its work to combat hate and create a safer campus, members of the UMD community reflected on these fraught times in our country and community. 

People from across the spectrum of our community—faculty, staff, students and alumni—provided their thoughts on hate in America and on college campuses, and how institutions and individuals can find a path forward. 

Transcripts of the interviews can be found at https://go.umd.edu/healing-after-hate.

This video highlights thoughts from three participants, including Tamara Adams, UMD student and president of the Black Student Union; Jennifer Roberts, assistant professor of kinesiology in the School of Public Health; and Tarif Shraim, UMD’s Muslim chaplain. 

UMD Continues Sustainability Progress Towards Carbon Neutrality

November 7, 2017
Contacts: 

Andrew Muir, 301-405-7068

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland recently released its Sustainability Progress Report, featuring an array of sustainability achievements from the past year. 

Highlights from the report include: 

Photo of solar panels on parking garage

  • The university reduced campus greenhouse gas emissions by 28%;
  • UMD joined the "We Are Still In" coalition of over 1,000 leaders, pledging to forge ahead on climate action to meet the Paris Agreement;
  • President Wallace Loh announced Climate Action Plan 2.0, further charting the path to carbon neutrality by 2050;
  • The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute was launched with $7.5 million in state funding;
  • Campus solar energy production increased with the installation of over 7,000 solar panels on the rooftop of three campus parking garages;
  • Dining Services' new Anytime Dining program removed 6.3 million disposable items from the waste stream and improved the healthfulness and sustainability of food served on campus;
  • Compost collection expanded to more than 25 collection sites;
  • The Green Terp and Green Chapter programs launched through the Office of Sustainability, Department of Resident Life and Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  

Photo of Dining Hall “Sustainability has become a way of life for our campus, as students, faculty and staff commit to the future of our planet,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Faculty and staff are at the forefront of climate research. We made a promise and commitment to carbon neutrality. We’re keeping it.”  

In October, the university announced Climate Action Plan 2.0, an update to the original UMD Climate Action Plan first published in 2009. The plan refines several key strategies with a focus on minimizing carbon emissions associated with university air travel, offering incentives to encourage carpooling and use of public transit, and continuing progress on the President’s Energy Initiatives, announced in April 2014.  

The next significant Climate Action Plan milestone will be to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2020.  

In addition to highlighting campus actions and achievements, the Sustainability Progress Report provides the University Sustainability Council and the campus community with data that allows for future planning around sustainability issues. 

The full Sustainability Progress Report is available here:  https://go.umd.edu/progress2017

 

Terps Celebrate and Honor Veterans, this Week and all Year

November 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Lee Tune, 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland strives year round to recognize, support, honor and remember the nation’s Veterans, particularly UMD’s large community of faculty, staff, student and alumni Veterans. The university does so with extra emphasis and attention during Veterans Week November 6 - 12.

Photo of Veteran's Day Service ImageThe centerpiece of the week’s events recognizing Veterans and their service to the nation is UMD’s Veterans Day Honor and Remember Service on, Friday November 10, from noon to 2 p.m. in the university's Memorial Chapel. The Chapel, one of the University's most visible and revered icons, was dedicated in 1952 as a memorial to fallen Veterans from the University of Maryland.

This moving service will feature remarks from Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement;  personal ​stories by Veterans and UMD alumni Marwin Glenn, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), 2019 Masters Candidate, Robert H. Smith School of Business, and Jan Atwood, United States Army and Army Reserves (Ret.), M.A., Recreation, University of Maryland. There will also be stirring music; remembrance activities, including the reading of names of 81 UMD Veterans who have died in the past year and a Multifaith Reflection. A buffet lunch on the Garden Chapel Patio will follow the service in the Chapel. During lunch, attendees are invited to walk the Garden Labyrinth in honor of a Veteran past or present.  

Also, a Vigil in honor of Veterans who have died in service to their country will be conducted from noon to 3 p.m.  at the front of the Memorial Chapel by UMD Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC detachments. 

"It is important that we celebrate the service and outstanding contributions of our Veterans to the nation and our community," said UMD Veterans Day Planning Committee Chair Denise McHugh, Memorial Chapel manager. "We are thrilled and deeply honored to continue the tradition of honoring that service through this event and other activities on campus."

In addition to the Chapel Memorial Day service, 2017 Veterans Week events include a Professional Development Workshop, a LGBQ+ luncheon, a Battle of the Branches bowling tournament, a Kayak football tournament and a Veterans Reception and an honoring of Veterans during Saturday’s Terp Home football game against the University of Michigan. 

This year the University, its community of veterans, and its office of Veteran Student Life also are celebrating 10 years of UMD’s Terp Vets student organization, established to provide its members the opportunity to recognize and support the community of veterans on and off campus through a variety of volunteer and social events while building a network that enhances Terp Veterans personal and career growth. 

For more information about UMD’s Veterans Week and Veterans Day events or the Terp Vets student organization contact: Veterans Student Life 301-314-0073, vetstudentlife@umd.edu, or http://stamp.umd.edu/vsl.

UMD School of Music Launches Competition to Write Lyrics to State Song

November 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland School of Music in the College of Arts and Humanities is launching a university-wide competition that invites UMD students to write lyrics to the tune of the state song “Maryland, My Maryland.” The competition asks students to craft lyrics that express the pride they feel for the State of Maryland.

“We are excited to engage students on a topic that elicits such strong feelings,” said Jason Geary, director of the University of Maryland School of Music. “This competition allows us to harness the creativity and talent of our students while compelling them to reflect on the vital relationship between the university and the state as a whole.”

As part of UMD’s ongoing efforts to reaffirm its values as a campus community, the university is assessing the songs that are performed at Intercollegiate Athletic events and has suspended the performance of "Maryland, My Maryland.” This competition will allow students to contribute lyrics that demonstrate their pride in the State of Maryland and are consistent with the values of our institution.

All undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at UMD are eligible to submit song lyrics, and co-authored lyrics will be accepted. The lyrics must be based on  the song’s existing melody, which is taken from the folk song widely known as “O Tannenbaum” or, in English, “O Christmas Tree.” The state song currently has nine verses, and the winning submission must have lyrics consisting of at least one verse.

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee made up of students, faculty and staff. The School of Music has received funds from the university to provide an award of $1,500 for first-prize, $750 for second and $500 for third. Winners will be announced in early December.

Submissions are due by Monday, November 20, 2017 and must be submitted at apply.arhu.umd.edu/lyricscompetition. Competition frequently asked questions can be found at go.umd.edu/lyricscompetition

University of Maryland Announces Homecoming Week 2018: Oct. 7-14

November 3, 2017
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Save the Date! The 2018 University of Maryland Homecoming week celebrations will take place Oct. 7-14, 2018.  Homecoming week welcomes students, alumni and families to campus with a full slate of events, including the Maryland Terrapins football game against Rutgers on October 13. 

The University of Maryland announced the dates of the 2018 Homecoming at the conclusion of last week’s 2017 Homecoming festivities. 

Highlights from this year’s Homecoming week include:

  • Over 300,000 meals packed in one day with help from 2,400 volunteers during a service project hosted by Terps Against Hunger and the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life; 
  • Two sold-out comedy performances featuring “Daily Show” comedian Hasan Minhaj at Ritchie Coliseum; 
  • Inflatables, games, face painting, live music and fireworks at Terp Carnival on McKeldin Mall;
  • An all-you-can-eat feast complete with Maryland steamed crabs hosted by the Student Government Association; and 
  • A celebration of multicultural talent at the Nyumburu Cultural Center Juke Joint, showcasing dance, spoken word and musical performances from student groups across campus.

 

Homecoming Service ProjectHomecoming Crab FeastHomecoming Juke JointHomecoming Carnival Fireworks

UMD Awards Sustainable Maryland Certified Status to 13 Municipalities

November 3, 2017
Contacts: 

Jenny Beard301-405-3577  

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of Maryland announced the thirteen municipalities that achieved Sustainable Maryland Certified status for 2017, including nine that were re-certified from 2014. The certifications were bestowed at the Sustainable Maryland Awards during the annual Maryland Municipal League Conference on October 13 in Rockville, Maryland.

The Sustainable Maryland program provides support and guidance to municipalities looking 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 earns points toward sustainability certification. Currently, 68 of the state’s 157 incorporated municipalities have registered with the program to seek this award designation, with 39 achieving certification as of this year.

“The growing number of municipalities that share a vision for state-wide sustainability is a testament to Maryland’s commitment to a resilient future,” said Dan Nees, director of the Environmental Finance Center. “Now more than ever, it is critical for local leaders and advocates to take charge of moving their communities towards becoming healthier and more sustainable. It is exciting to see our Sustainable Maryland Certified program continue to empower elected officials and citizens with every new community we welcome.”

Group photo of sustainable maryland awards ceremony

The newly certified and re-certified (denoted by *) communities are listed below, followed by a notable achievement from their local sustainability efforts:

*Town of Bel Air (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017 – Bel Air launched a new Community Garden in 2016, offering 70 garden plots to local residents.

*Town of Berwyn Heights (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) – Berwyn Heights marked its 20th year as a Tree City USA community.

*Town of Boonsboro (Washington County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) – Boonsboro established an innovative Forest Mitigation Bank, which off-sets development within town by preserving land within a 45-acre town-owned forest.

Town of Burkittsville (Frederick County) – Burkittsville developed several innovative programs to support the local food economy, including a Backyard Produce Exchange, Local Food Directory, an annual Farm-toFork Town Picnic, and the Burkittsville Food Forest.

*Town of Chesapeake Beach (Calvert County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) – Chesapeake Beach hosted multiple volunteer stream clean-ups along sections of the local Fishing Creek. Additionally, several Osprey nests and monitoring cameras were installed by the town in Fishing Creek Marsh, with a live stream available to the local residents through the town website.

*Town of Cheverly (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) – Cheverly amended a previous ordinance to allow bees to be kept on municipal and residential property. This was quickly followed by the installation of two new apiaries in the Community Garden.

City of Frostburg (the first municipality to be certified in Allegany County) – Frostburg city council passed a new local ordinance, allowing residents to keep small numbers of chickens on their property within the city, thereby promoting small-scale, local food production.

*City of Greenbelt (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) - Greenbelt’s DPW initiated a food scraps composting program, and has since educated community members about composting at 22 different festivals and community events since. Additionally, the Green Team’s Zero Waste Circle has created an Organics Task Force which is researching city-wide compost options and the respective pricing.

Town of Mount Airy (Carroll/Frederick Counties; the first municipality to be certified in Carroll County) – Mount Airy took a step forward in supporting renewable energy by installing an electric charging station in the Municipal Parking Lot at Park Avenue and Cross Street.

Town of North Beach (Calvert County) – North Beach secured grant funding from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation to complete a 60-foot living shoreline project inside the Walton Beach Nature Preserve.

*Town of Riverdale Park (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) - As part of a large sustainable design project within the Mixed-Use Town Center Zone of Riverdale Park, the Riverdale Park Station will be the first certified “LEED - Neighborhood Development” project completed in Prince George’s County.

*City of Takoma Park (2017 “Sustainability Champion” for highest point total award; Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) - In addition to being an active participant in the Montgomery County Solar Co-op, Takoma Park has reached maximum municipal roof solar capacity. The city purchases the rest of its municipal electricity through wind credits, and has plans to complete the installation of 1,500 solar-powered LED street lights by the end of 2017.

*Town of University Park (Prince George’s County; first certified in 2014, re-certified in 2017) – University Park funds and promotes the annual town-wide “Porchfest”, an innovative way to build community cohesiveness.

A full report on each certified community’s Actions can be viewed here:

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

According to Mike Hunninghake, program manager for Sustainable Maryland, “In a time when municipal leadership is critical to driving change across a number of social and environmental issues, we are pleased to see municipalities throughout Maryland continue to do the hard and necessary work to be good stewards of their communities. This year’s class of Sustainable Maryland Certified communities serve as beacons along a path forward during these uncertain times.”

With the support of the Maryland Municipal League, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Town Creek Foundation, Sustainable Maryland is a free and voluntary program that 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 get recognized statewide for their accomplishments. For more information about Sustainable Maryland, please visit www.sustainablemaryland.com.

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland works to equip communities with the knowledge, resources and leadership needed to empower decision-making that advances resource management priorities in an innovative and efficient way. Through direct technical assistance, capacity building and program and policy analysis, it strives to move communities towards a more sustainable and resilient future. For more information about the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, please visit www.efc.umd.edu. 

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