Committee for a Better Environment
Purpose and Goals
The Committee for a Better Environment (“CBE”) serves the City of College Park by addressing environmental concerns that affect the quality of life of its residents. The Committee and its activities are chartered by the Mayor & Council with the goal of providing guidance and leadership to the municipal government, as well as service and outreach to the community.
Sustainable Maryland Certified is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland that is designed to support Maryland’s 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities. Using best practices in resource areas like water, energy, planning, health, food, and economy, a municipality can earn points toward sustainability certification. The City received initial certification as a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community at an awards ceremony at the Annual Maryland Municipal League Fall Conference on October 18, 2013. The Committee for a Better Environment serves as the City's designated Sustainable Maryland Green Team.
In addition to its original role in promoting beautification, CBE sponsors Earth Day activities in College Park, and supports other local environmental projects, such as tree plantings and cleanups. Through its workshops, CBE offers residents an opportunity to increase their environmental awareness about a wide variety of topics—including gardening and sustainable landscaping, energy efficiency, recycling, and more.
The Committee also partners with other local organizations, including the College Park Arts Exchange (CPAE) and the College Park Community Library (CPCL), to educate and inform residents of all ages about environmental issues. In fiscal year 2014, for example, CBE purchased and donated many well-known and earth-related children’s books to CPCL and, for adults and older children, several award-winning documentary DVDs on topics of national and local environmental concern.
Occasionally, CBE addresses planning and development concerns in the City. Examples of topics include: commuter issues; noise and light abatement; bicycle and pedestrian trails; and stormwater management.
The City has a pilot permaculture garden along the Trolley Trail in the Berwyn neighborhood between Greenbelt Road and Tecumseh Street and plans to extend the garden south along the trail in the future.
Click here for the latest information about the Trolley Trail Permaculture Garden
View a slideshow of the permaculture planting event held on October 4th & 11th, 2014.
Each year, the City appropriates $11,000 for CBE to implement its programs and fund its activities. The money in the budget is targeted to specific goals outlined in its charter..
CBE consists of City residents with an interest in improving our environment and quality of life. The Committee elects its own Chair. CBE membership is limited to a total of 25 individuals who are appointed by the Mayor & Council for renewable terms of 3 years. Committee members serve without pay.
With few exceptions, CBE meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Davis Hall, 9217 51st Avenue. The City Clerk maintains a schedule of CBE meeting dates and times as a matter of public record. Citizens who wish to propose items to the agenda should contact the Chair at least two weeks before the Committee meeting.
Know someone who has started a garden? Cleaned up a street? Made their house more energy-efficient? College Park has a great way to give them a pat on the back (and $100 worth of green merchandise!): nominate them for one of the City's Green Awards! The deadline for entries changes each year, so watch for an announcement in the City's Municipal Scene.
During the last several years, CBE has created a series of brochures for residents and businesses.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BROCHURES
1 - Committee for a Better Environment
2 - Noise in Our Community?
3 - Mosquitoes in Our Community?
4 - Rats in Our Community?
5 - Grass Clippings... Let 'em Lay!
6 - Composting in 4 Easy Steps
7 - Memorial Tree Fund
8 - College Park Green Awards