The Town of Bel Air was honored this week for being re-certified as a Sustainable Maryland community. The Town was recognized for its initiatives to protect the environment and maintain the vitality of the local economy, such as using goats to control non-native plant growth at Rockfield Park and the Armory Marketplace business incubator. Four Marketplace tenants have graduated from the incubator since it was established in 2016 and moved to storefronts in the downtown business district.
The award was presented to representatives of Bel Air, as well as 15 other municipal honorees, at a ceremony held during the Maryland Municipal League's annual Fall Conference at the University of Maryland at College Park. The conference ran from Sunday, October 15 to Tuesday, October 17.
Bel Air has been certified as a Sustainable Maryland community since 2014, and it has been recertified on a three-year cycle in 2017, 2020 and this year. The Town is currently certified at the Silver level.
"Making a positive difference in our local environment takes a team effort, and we are incredibly proud of everyone who worked hard to ensure that the Town of Bel Air remains a leader in environmental sustainability,” Mayor Kevin Bianca said in a statement.
Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the University of Maryland's Environmental Finance Center, which supports Maryland's municipalities that seek ways to protect their natural resources and revitalize the community. Participants can earn the Sustainable Maryland certification by forming a Green Team made up of residents, civic leaders, staff and elected officials. The team them develops and completes sustainability projects, or "actions," that earn the municipality points -- at least 150 points nets a Bronze-level certification and at least 400 points is worth Silver-level certification.
Bel Air's sister municipalities in Harford County, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace, also are Sustainable Maryland certified -- Havre de Grace was re-certified at the Silver level in 2022 and Aberdeen received its first certification, at the Bronze level, that same year.
Visit sustainablemaryland.com for more information on the program.
Contact Media and Public Relations Specialist David Anderson at 410-688-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.