FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards Presented Today in Virtual Ceremony

Bookmark and Share

JPPM Masthead

Press Release




David Buck

(443) 463-7139 (c)

Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards Presented Today in Virtual Ceremony

Awards Recognize People and Projects that Advance Sustainable Growth and Conservation in Maryland

(December 16, 2021) BALTIMORE, MD –

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) today presented Maryland Sustainable Growth awards for leadership and community planning at its ninth annual awards ceremony. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, and programs that exemplify well-planned economic and community development initiatives throughout the state.

"These awards recognize people and projects from across Maryland that bring creativity, innovation, and passion to our communities,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is proud to honor and celebrate their commitment to helping change Maryland for the better." 

The 10 winners are individuals and organizations that demonstrate their commitment to sustainable growth – development or redevelopment that is compact, walkable, and takes advantage of existing infrastructure while preserving the rural landscape – in Maryland. 

“Resourcefulness, innovation, and creativity are all part of what makes Maryland a leader in cultural preservation, community and economic development, and environmental stewardship,” said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Robert McCord. “I congratulate all of the winners for their efforts that not only demonstrate how we should look at the built and the natural environment, they help to revitalize and improve the quality of life in their communities.”

The 2021 Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards winners are below:

Leadership: These awards are for activities or accomplishments that advance public appreciation, understanding or involvement in promoting smart growth and sustainable communities at the state, regional, or local level.

Greg Bowen – Greg Bowen’s dedication to his home and his community, the practice of planning, and to land preservation in southern Maryland and throughout the state, defines a 40-plus-year career that continues not far from where it started. He has been a steadfast advocate for land use, preservation, and sustainability, leading the way for many projects and ideas that have benefitted Maryland’s agriculture and forestry community.

Rosa Hance – Rosa Hance began her leadership role as a volunteer activist and continues to be a tireless advocate for sustainable land use, development, and community policies in southern Maryland and throughout the state.

Sustainable Communities: These awards are for facilitating or creating development that addresses at least one or more of Maryland’s 12 Planning Visions.

Anne Arundel County Plan2040 – As one of the state’s most populous and fastest growing counties, Anne Arundel County is at the forefront of managing growth in Maryland by focusing on quality of life in its many desirable neighborhoods. Plan2040 set a new standard for community engagement and collaboration in the county, and is a model for other jurisdictions to consider when preparing a new comprehensive plan.

Montgomery County Complete Streets Design Guide – Since 1931, Montgomery County has been a national leader in roadway classification. As road design practices changed over the years, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery County Planning Department determined that a new street classification system based on complete streets principles was needed and jointly developed the Complete Streets Design Guide in 2021.

Black Women Build - Baltimore – Founded in 2017 by Shelley Halstead, Black Women Build - Baltimore is a homeownership and wealth building initiative that provides training programs in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing to help African American women rehabilitate and acquire homes in neighborhoods of West Baltimore.

E.M.A.G.E. Center – Citywide Youth Development, a nonprofit established in 2010 to address challenges of crime and poverty facing Baltimore City’s youth, saw the need for a training facility to promote youth entrepreneurship and job opportunities by launching the Entrepreneurs Making And Growing Enterprises ( E.M.A.G.E) Center.

Velocity Center – The Velocity Center, originally a warehouse located in an economically challenged part of Indian Head, provides resources that bring businesses and entrepreneurs back to the area, while also acting as a center for innovation, experimentation, and workforce development for current and future scientists and engineers. Managed by the College of Southern Maryland, this project was a collaboration of local, state, and federal partners.

Preservation/Conservation: Preservation/Conservation Project awards are presented to individuals, organizations, government agencies, and other entities for their accomplishments in protecting or improving farms, forests, natural resources, and the waters of Maryland.

J.C. Parks Elementary School “Connecting to Our Watershed” – The Pomonkey School Stream is one of the healthiest tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, but was threatened by stormwater runoff from the J.C. Parks Elementary School, near Indian Head in western Charles County. Since 2011, students and their mentors have transformed the school’s turf to treat runoff, enhance the environment, and serve as an outdoor classroom.

Frederick County’s Agriculture Innovation Grant Program – To sustain farming as well as farmland, Frederick County in 2021 created the Agricultural Innovation Grant Program. Farmers receive grants to expand their businesses, create value-added products, and diversify their revenue streams. The program spurs job creation and investment in the county and provides local food to Frederick County residents.

Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program – For almost 50 years, Carroll County has worked to keep land in cultivation, utilizing multiple preservation tools. Through these efforts, Carroll County has preserved more land through Maryland’s farmland preservation program than any other county in Maryland. 

Short videos about each award recipient are available at

Planning sees Maryland cities, towns and communities as attractive, vibrant places to live, work, play and learn. Planning provides guidance, analysis, outreach and support to ensure that all of the state’s natural resources, built environment and public assets are preserved and protected to achieve its goals for economic, community and environmental vitality

 #  #  #