Many in the region have been working hard to make a greener world. Solar panel installations can be found on municipal buildings in Brentwood, Bladensburg, Cottage City and Edmonston. The Colmar Manor town hall and recreation center is a $4Million dollar green project.
Edmonston’s “green street” is a first in the nation type of program that developed new green infrastructure with LED lights, drainage swales, and bike lanes. College Park encourages you to shop local and use public transportation. Both College Park and Mount Rainier are seeking green certifications for their communities. IKEA is taking leadership in College Park by installing solar panels, while nearby the University of Maryland has green roofs. The University is a bike friendly campus with many green technologies in place or in research right on campus.
Partners have been working hard to preserve and protect our environment for generations. Greenbelt has a true “green belt” of forest which include walking trails and places of quiet contemplation. They have a community wide green program and recycling. The Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge are both green lungs for the region and have also led the way in sustainable research and advances. Rachel Carson worked alongside researchers at Patuxent, which would eventually lead to the findings on DDT. The Whooping Crane is slowly being nursed back from endangered status on Patuxent. The Anacostia Watershed Society, located in historic George Washington House, has been fighting for the cleanup of the river for decades and has been leading by example on their own property.
Even our historic sites are getting greener. Riversdale Historic House Museum is installing geothermal heat. Greenbelt, a National Historic Landmark, is exploring potential sustainable upgrades to the historic homes. Prince Georges Heritage Inc. (Magruder House) and Aman Trust (Market Master Store) in Bladensburg are examining ways of installing bio-retention.
The cultural treasures and natural resources of the Maryland landscape are here for us because of those who have fought to protect and to sustain them for us and the future. All heritage travelers – residents and visitors alike – should seek to help preserve these heritage resources through green travel. Make decisions that create a greener Maryland and Heritage Area protected and accessible for generations to come. Here are a few tips:
- When you support local artists and craftsmen by purchasing locally made handicrafts and products, you help preserve a vibrant arts community and help sustain the next generation of local artists.
- Supporting local agriculture is one of the best ways to enjoy the flavors of Maryland while reducing the distance food has to travel and supporting local farmers. Make sure you stop at one of the many Farmer’s Markets.
- You can help keep things clean by making sure you put trash in waste bins. Many towns and businesses offer recycling for visitors, so if you can’t find a recycling bin, ask for one. Be sure to put plastic bags firmly in the trash, they contribute to much of the pollution in the rivers.
- You can see most of the heritage area using non-motorized forms of transportation. Traveling that way helps reduce air and noise pollution.
- The exciting activities around the region make an interesting place for people and pets. Keep pets on a leash and under control you can help protect wildlife, visitors, and residents. And remembering to bring a plastic bag for pet waste can help keep streams and creeks cleaner.
- Be sure to visit some of our green sites to learn more – Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Anacostia Watershed Society, and Bladensburg Waterfront Park.