By: Delaney Engel
The conversation surrounding climate change and environmental awareness continues to attract attention. The City of Laurel, Maryland has done a notable job in reducing its ecological footprint and has been recognized as a “Sustainable City” by The State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, as mentioned in a press release from city officials.
The city of Laurel was initially recognized as a “Sustainable City” in 2011. The recognition was renewed in October. As stated in the city’s press release, Mayor Craig A. Moe exemplified his pride stating, “This is a great acknowledgment for the City of Laurel! It shows the commitment that I, and the Laurel City Council, continue to strive for to bring sustainable growth to the City of Laurel”.
Announced on October 18, 2022, this new “Sustainable City” recognition will allow the City of Laurel to receive a funding grant for the revitalization of the empty lot historically owned by the Quill family at 378 Main Street. The funding will help the city build a community-wide green space, which will host events such as a farmers market, the press release shared.
Jack Kinloch, an Ellicott City, Maryland resident who grew up in the City of Laurel, has a sense of pride for the changes in the city. Kinloch specifically took notice of many of the developments made in support of sustainability, such as improved walkability and housing accommodations.
“It’s changed radically over the years… The fact that it has moved from an industrial/mill town to a more developed community is really what makes it sustainable. There is a massive amount of transit available, like the metro station, which was not around when I was growing up. Carpooling is also a big thing, there are commuter lots to get to work faster in larger groups, which make it more environmentally friendly, supporting the city’s new recognition.”
The City of Laurel had to meet specific qualifications in order to be considered for this grant. The 2010 Sustainable Communities Act requires cities like Laurel to bring together public and private partnerships to encourage the nurturing of a local healthy economy, protection of local resources, provide affordable lifestyles, and the introduction to environmentally-friendly practices such as encouraging walkability locations within the city.
More information regarding this recognition can be found on the City of Laurel’s website.