FROSTBURG — After more than a year's worth of work by Mountain City officials and citizens, Frostburg is officially a Sustainable Maryland certified community — the first west of Hagerstown to receive the prestigious award.
"I think (certification) provides the city of Frostburg and the mayor and council with the recognition that their efforts here at the city are not just financial sustainability, but the environmental health of our community as well as our residents," Elizabeth Stahlman, Frostburg's director of economic development, said Monday.
Frostburg was one of 13 municipalities honored by the University of Maryland's Environmental Finance Center's Sustainable Maryland Awards ceremony, which took place Friday during the Maryland Municipal League’s annual fall conference.
Sustainable Maryland is a certification program supporting municipalities in Maryland that hope to "go green" by relaying advice on how to implement strategies to save on energy costs, providing training and how-to guidelines, as well as exposure through the certification process.
"This certification gives us that branding, so to speak, for those (environmental) efforts," Stahlman said.
To apply for a chance at the state certification, Frostburg's mayor and council passed a resolution registering the city as a Maryland Sustainable community and organized a community-driven "Green Team" composed of 12 volunteers who conducted a survey and created an action plan based on the feedback.
The certification process was also dependent on the city's past and ongoing sustainability projects, such as more than a decade of Frostburg's participation in the Allegany County's Farmers Market; the Mountain Maryland Solar Co-op to facilitate a residential solar installation project; a recent ordinance passed by the mayor and council that allows residents to keep a small number of chickens on their property within city limits; and the city's third consecutive year of bringing home the Tree USA award.
Follow staff writer Heather Wolford on Twitter @heatherbwolford.