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Thurmont receives Sustainable Maryland Certified Award

Danielle Ryan

(10/20) Thurmont was named as one of the 14 Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony in October. Sustainable Maryland is a certification program for municipalities in Maryland that are striving to "go green," save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life for the future years to come.

In order to achieve certification, municipalities are required to form a Green Team. This team is a group of people made up of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff and officials. In addition to the formation of a Green Team, the municipality must complete a variety of sustainability-related actions worth a total of at least 150 points and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the requirements have been satisfied.

Thurmont accomplished and met many of the actions detailed on the list. The town adopted a Sustainable Procurement Policy this year that ensures that town staff will consider sustainability when purchasing products and/or services to be utilized within the town's operations. In 2015, the town began an LED street light retrofit program, which has thus far installed 62 new downtown LED street lights and 30 new subdivision LED street lights.

Thurmont has achieved many healthy choice, food related goals as a part of this program. A few of them include, the organization of a Farmers Market, which has been held since 2005, and the utilization of the town’s food bank. An average of 320 households made up of over 1,300 individuals receive food each month from the Food Bank.

The town also promotes local businesses through a program utilizing "Thurmont Business Bucks" which are part of a "Buy Local" campaign. This program allows residents to purchase "coupons" that can be used at any participating business in town, thereby keeping more money circulating locally.

Thurmont Mayor Kinnaird stated: "I am very proud of the joint resident and municipal effort that has resulted in Thurmont being recognized as a Sustainable Maryland Certified municipality. I specifically want to thank the Thurmont Green Team for their tireless investment of time, energy and leadership in this worthwhile endeavor. The projects and initiatives implemented by the Thurmont Green Team has set our town on a course of environmental awareness, renewed our sense of community and most importantly will help insure a healthier and economically viable future for Thurmont’s residents."

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