Five New Sustainable Communities Added, Including Historic Towns on Eastern Shore, Western MD

Crownsville, MD – DHCD is announcing the addition of five new Sustainable Communities, bringing the statewide total to 82. There is at least one designated  Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Maryland’s Sustainable Communities program seeks to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state’s older communities through state, local and private sector partnerships.

The new Sustainable Communities are:

Baltimore County – Northwest Gateways
The Northwest Gateways area is the seventh Sustainable Community in Baltimore County. It targets the Liberty and Reisterstown Road corridors and includes various commercial revitalization nodes, the Fieldstone and Sudbrook Park historic districts and the Old Court and Millford Mill Metro Stations.  Key revitalization strategies targeted towards this area include renovating or redeveloping deteriorating commercial buildings and strip shopping centers, improving aesthetic appeal of streetscape, upgrading curbs, sidewalks, alleys and other infrastructure, offering no or low-interest loans to low-moderate income home owners for energy efficiency upgrades and working with the State Highway Administration to improve pedestrian, bike and transit access.

Frederick County – Town of Myersville
The sixth Sustainable Community in Frederick County, the Town of Myersville, incorporated in 1904, has targeted its historic core for a Sustainable Communities designation. A small bedroom community that cherishes its parks and open space, Myersville plans to preserve its community identity through the establishment of local historic district, improve the infrastructure and aesthetics on its Main Street, connect parks and open spaces through trails and greenways and complete improvements at Trolley Park, the town’s pocket park.

Kent County – Town of Betterton
The Town of Betterton is the second Sustainable Community designated in Kent County. This quaint community boasts Victorian-era housing stock, national and local historic districts, and a public beach.  Making “green” improvements is core to its revitalization strategy.  The town plans to seek a Sustainable Maryland Certified designation, design and construct a green street to address flooding issues, establish a walking/biking trail through the town and along the beach and initiate a beautification program along its Main Street.

Kent County/Queen Anne’s County – Town of Millington
Located at the head of the Chester River, the Town of Millington is uniquely situated in both Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. The town, incorporated in 1890, was once a center of commerce. Today it is a popular place for fishing, with public fishing piers.  The town’s revitalization strategy includes beautifying the downtown streetscape, improving residential and commercial facades as a means to attract home buyers and small businesses, supporting the development of a senior housing/assisted living facility, enhancing Millington’s waterfront and building a town museum.

Talbot County – Town of Oxford
Founded in 1683 and incorporated in 1852, the Town of Oxford is one of Maryland’s oldest communities. Historically recognized as a seaport in Maryland, the Town of Oxford has reinvented itself more than once to adapt to its changing environment.  As a Sustainable Community, the town recognizes that it needs to adapt to climate change and plans to continue the development of living shorelines, establish a Community Revitalization Fund, acquire and/or support the rehabilitation of various commercial and mixed-use buildings in the historic district and develop a long term Capital Improvement Plan that will strengthen Oxford’s stormwater and tidal water infrastructure.

– By Mary Kendall