Havre De Grace And Aberdeen Receive Sustainable Maryland Awards

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HAVRE DE GRACE - Havre de Grace and Aberdeen were two of 18 Maryland municipalities to receive awards for reducing their environmental impact in 2022. The awards were given out at the Maryland Municipal League's annual fall conference by Sustainable Maryland, a certification organization.

Havre de Grace Mayor Bill Martin praised his city for their dedication to sustainability.

"The Sustainable Maryland certification is an honor for the City of Havre de Grace, as our municipality makes a conscious effort to bring sustainability concerns into our policy and planning decisions."

Havre de Grace received a silver certification, and Aberdeen received a bronze. Havre de Grace received its first certification in 2016 and was recertified in 2019. 2022 is Aberdeen's first year receiving a certification.

According to Sustainable Maryland, municipalities must form a "Green Team," made up of local citizens, community leaders, and municipality staff members and officials to qualify for certification. The Green Teams must complete sustainability projects to earn points toward their certification. One hundred fifty points are needed for bronze and 400 for silver.

Mike Hunninghake, Director of Sustainable Maryland, says they gave out a record number of certifications in 2022.

"We are pleased to be awarding a record number of certifications this year," Hunninghake said. "These certifications show a commitment to sustainability by Maryland's municipalities that is truly impressive in both depth and breadth. The commitments and associated actions are a critical investment for a future where local governments will increasingly be at the forefront in the fight against climate change."

Havre de Grace's Green Team and the city government have been prolific in making the city more sustainable. HDG Green Team established the Todd Park Food Forest in 2016, which lets people plant and nurture various fruit, nut, and berry trees/bushes. The Havre de Grace city government installed electric trolleys earlier this year and plans to convert all municipal lighting to LEDs by 2027.

Aberdeen has also made great strides in sustainability efforts. The city hosted a bulk-item drop-off event this past June. Aberdeen also officially celebrated Arbor Day for the first time this year and implemented a program to teach residents about the importance of picking up dog waste.

Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady echoed Martin's praise for his city's sustainability.

"The City of Aberdeen's staff and elected officials have worked with residents, local businesses, and state agencies to create a more viable city and achieve the Sustainable Maryland certification," McGrady said. "I am incredibly proud of our initiatives that bring us closer to achieving social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The City of Aberdeen has a bright future grounded in the principles of sustainable development, commercial activity, and quality of life for our community."

To learn more about sustainability efforts in Havre de Grace, you can visit the Green Team's website.

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