Governor O’Malley Celebrates Earth Day
Announces New Citizen Tree-Planting Record, Smart Green & Growing Awards
Annapolis, Md. (April 20, 2012) - Today, Governor Martin O’Malley celebrated Earth Day with two major announcements: Marylanders have planted more than 75,000 trees through the citizen tree-planting program and four Maryland initiatives are now Smart, Green & Growing award winners.
“Earth Day is an opportunity for all Marylanders to reconnect with nature and engage in environmental stewardship,” said Governor O’Malley. “I am pleased to announce that Marylanders have planted and registered 75,000 new trees since 2009, and our businesses and local governments are stepping up to support our natural resources - not just today but all year long.”
Governor O’Malley launched his Marylanders Plant Trees Program in 2009, challenging citizens to plant and register 50,000 new trees by 2010. When they surpassed the original goal, Governor O’Malley increased the target to 100,000 by the end of this year. To date, Marylanders have planted and registered 75,485 trees.
This achievement comes just days before Governor O’Malley will receive the Arbor Day Foundation’s first-ever Vision Award. Inspired by the Governor, the new national award recognizes an individual who, by vision and deed, inspires and advances extraordinary on-the-ground actions to achieve the full benefits of trees and forests. This award honors Governor O’Malley’s unparalleled commitment to programs and practices that promote tree planting and sustainable forestry, a hallmark of his Administration.
Governor O’Malley also announced today the recent Smart, Green and Growing (SGG) award winners for Green Building practices and Natural Resources Protection:
- The Coastal Bays Program in Ocean City was recognized for the protection of the Newport-Chincoteague Land Conservation Area. The 64,000-acre conservation area includes the Coastal Bays Rural Legacy Area, green infrastructure land, wetlands and sensitive species habitat.
- The Highlandtown Healthy Living Center earned the award for its LEED platinum-rated interior and exterior green building practices, including the use of reclaimed and refurbished furniture, energy conservation techniques and half mile existing, planned or funded light rail.
- The Baltimore Medical System’s center for the low income was a recipient for its work in providing health care for 15,000 low income patients and teaching them about the many links between lifestyle, the environment and health.
- Schilling Green developed by Merritt Properties was also honored for its LEED platinum-certified office building re-development. Its energy improvements, and close proximity to light rail station and Hunt Valley Towne Centre make it a great example of sustainable redevelopment.
Governor O’Malley established the Smart, Green and Growing Award Program to recognize and promote local governments and groups that are leading by example by creating projects or programs that improve the communities and community design and that exemplify Smart Growth principles.
Maryland Smart, Green & Growing is a multi-agency, statewide initiative to help citizens achieve a more sustainable future by linking community revitalization, transportation improvements, economic development, smart growth and environmental restoration efforts.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.