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Thurmont is going green

Sarah Harrington

(4/19) Thurmont has begun taking steps to become a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community. Jim Hummerick, the town’s Chief Administrative Officer, says that by becoming certified, the town will show that they care for the environment and are taking care of their natural resources. This process will ultimately give the community the ability to access training tools and funding and receive professional advice and direction when it comes to taking care of the environment.

The town took the first step toward this certification by looking for volunteers to create a "Green Team." Hummerick began his search for volunteers for the team in March. In early April, Hummerick began hearing back from residents who wanted to be a part of the team. There was no set number for how many volunteers the town was looking for, nor were there many regulations. Anyone was welcomed, even if they lived outside of the town’s corporate limits. According to Hummerick, many of the volunteers have a "wide range of experience with green practices."

Once a team is assembled they will begin to tackle the requirements to become certified. The team will get the chance to choose from a list of "action" items that will lead them to certification. These items include things that the town of Thurmont is already doing along with new items they are excited to tackle. The team must perform these items and document them.

The town is currently working on creating and promoting their own Farmer’s Market. They have also adopted a pet waste ordinance and have been promoting a local business directory. Hummerick gave a sneak peek at a few of the new items the team will be tackling. The team will be creating a community garden, promoting green business recognition, and offering "innovative demonstration projects" to the community.

The "Green Team," once put together, will go through an orientation meeting and set off to work right after that. Hummerick is hoping to get the town certified within a year. However, the team’s job will not end once the town has received their certification. The "Green Team" will continue their efforts to make sure the town maintains the expectations of a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community. "The project is ongoing," says Hummerick. The team will be working to make sure the town is upholding the goals and objectives that come with being certified. Becoming a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community is Thurmont’s way of helping create a better way of life both in their community and in Maryland.

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