Sustainability is a popular buzzword these days. But what does it mean for our little square mile of the planet?
Well, to boil it down to the elements we interact with every day...it's how we steward the air, land, and water right here in our corner of the world.
It starts with promoting walking and biking as the way to get around town. Not only does it mimic the design of cities that research shows tend to be the happiest in the world, it makes for cleaner air. That's why in December of 2020, I presented the Mayor and Council with a plan for beginning to implement the Mount Rainier Bike Master Plan. It's a plan that starts by investing in the infrastructure necessary to connect the D.C. lane on Bunker Hill Road across from Eastern Avenue with our own bike co-op by making the Mount Rainier-portion of Bunker Hill Road an official bike corridor complete with sharrows and signage. It then seeks grant money to complete the remaining infrastructure. Read more here.
It also means promoting the use of native plants in our soil through our Native Plant Network. The legislation I drafted to create the Native Plant Network is the first of its kind in the state of Maryland and it was passed by your Mayor and Council in December of 2020. It will allow us to educate the community on the importance of planting native, identify what parts of our community have committed to planting native through an online map, and encourage as many people as possible to follow suit. The end goal is two-fold: (i) to have our yards and public spaces look more like the native habitat it once was; and (ii) serve as a model for the rest of the state to create a native plant corridor across the state. Read more here.
Finally, it means making sure our stormwater enters our local tributaries as clean as it can be through stormwater management best practices that funnel stormwater into bio-retention cells that serve a dual purpose of filtering out pollution before it enters the Northwest Branch and beautifying our tree boxes. On this front, I set out a short, medium, and long-term vision back in the summer of 2017 that set us on course for getting $346,000 in grant funding to install bio-retention cells all over our city and get started on a stormwater management master plan. The long-term goal? Daylight Dueling Creek on the south side of the city to create a beautiful native habitat for animals and humans alike to enjoy. Read more here.