Maryland’s 2022 Sustainable Growth Awards Recognize Leaders and Communities Advancing Sustainable Growth and Conservation in Maryland

Planning Assistance in Action

by David Buck, Director, Office of Communications, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

On November 17, 2022, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) presented Maryland Sustainable Growth awards for leadership, preservation, and community planning at its 10th annual awards ceremony. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, and programs that exemplify well-planned economic and community development initiatives throughout the state.

“Sustainable growth is key to the future of Maryland. Our administration takes great pride in these awards and celebrates the perseverance of the recipients to change Maryland for the better,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These awards recognize people and projects from across the state that bring creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness to our communities.”

The eight winners and six honorable mention awards are for 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.

“I congratulate the award recipients for their steadfast commitment to revitalizing and improving the communities of Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Robert McCord. “These individuals and programs demonstrate the best approaches to sustainability while considering the needs and uses of both the built and natural environments.” The winners of the 2022 Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards, by category, are:


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.

Image 1 – Photo portrait of Del. Gilchrist.

Jim Gilchrist

Delegate Jim Gilchrist is retiring in 2023 after being first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2006. During his time in the General Assembly, he has been a champion for open space, land use, and environmental sustainability.

Image 2 – Photo portrait of Kathy Christian.

Kathy Christian

As the executive director of the Midway Community Development Corporation, Kathy has worked to create a coalition of the neighborhoods and leaders of East Baltimore-Midway, Darley Park, South Clifton Park, Oliver, and Broadway East to provide a stronger voice for these often-overlooked communities.

Sustainable Communities

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

Image 3 – Photo showing crane lowering portain of house under construction, courtesy KAH, Inc.

Kent Attainable Housing, Inc.

Kent Attainable Housing, Inc. (KAH) constructs affordable homes and rehabilitates existing homes to sell to limited income working families to enable them to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. KAH’s work to date is focused in two primary areas: Chestertown, the county seat and economic center of Kent County, and the near-by historic community of Butlertown, much of which was owned by James Butler, a free Black man, and now his descendants.

Image 4 – Screenshot depicting cover of Lakeforest Mall Master Plan.

City of Gaithersburg Lakeforest Mall Master Plan

The Lakeforest Mall Master Plan (LMMP), as noted by Mayor Jud Ashman, sets a “general vision” for how private developers should develop the more than 100-acre Lakeforest Mall property. The LMMP established a forward-thinking vision that addresses equity, opportunity, sustainability, and resiliency.

Image 5 – Photo of exterior of Greenberg Gibbons Armory, courstesy Towson University.

Towson University – Greenberg Gibbons Armory Renovation

Towson University partnered with Greenberg Gibbons real estate development to transform the historic Armory into a best-in-class entrepreneurship and innovation hub. This remodeled, state-of-the-art facility is 26,000-square-feet, located a half mile from Towson University’s campus core and serves as the off-campus “front door to the university.”

Image 5 – Screenshot of WalkHoward master plan recommendations.

WalkHoward: Moving Forward

To develop WalkHoward, Howard County staff completed a field assessment that examined 343 miles of sidewalks, 915 intersections, and 494 public comments. They held three public open houses and provided an online survey and map, which drew more than 2,500 comments and 36,000 “likes” and “dislikes.” With the data, they developed a draft plan that includes infrastructure and program recommendations, as well as structured projects that provide a framework for completing infrastructure improvements.


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.

Image 6 – Before and after photos of Lake Churchill mainstream restoration, courtesty Churchill Community Foundation.

Lake Churchill Stream Restoration – Charles P. Johnson & Assoc., Inc.

In 2017, the Churchill Community Foundation, in partnership with the Potomac Conservancy, and with the help of grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, initiated the Lake Churchill Mainstem Stream Restoration Project to mitigate storm drain outfall runoff, reverse stream damage, improve stream hydraulic and geomorphic conditions, and address public safety concerns.

Image 7 – Photo of smiling teenage girls holding baby goats, courtesy Wild Kid Acres.

Wild Kid Acres

Wild Kid Acres (WKA) is a bilingual community farm located in Edgewater. It was founded by a veteran and minority business leader, Gerardo Martinez, during the COVID-19 pandemic due to demand from the local community to experience a safe outdoor space that was unique and welcoming.

Its mission is to enhance the local ecosystem through Climate Smart Agriculture and educate all visitors on these practices; inspire the local community using the farm and its animals; and increase local economic development by serving as a unique low-cost venue for small locally owned businesses.

Honorable Mention

Purple Line Corridor Coalition

The administrative home of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), established in 2013, is located at the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG). Employing a collective impact strategy, the PLCC brings diverse stakeholders together to develop policies and actions leading to sustainable development that is racially and economically equitable.

Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO)’s Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program

MARBIDCO is a quasi-public economic development organization chartered to help Maryland’s farm (typically small and family-owned), forestry, and seafood businesses to prosper through the provision of targeted financial and other services. MARBIDCO ‘s Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program (Next Gen) is available to help qualified young or beginning farmers who have trouble entering the agricultural profession due to relatively high farmland costs and lack of access to adequate financial capital to purchase farmland.

Powell Building

In November 2020, Opportunity Street, LLC. completed the redevelopment of downtown Salisbury’s historic Powell Building, transforming it into a mixed-use luxury apartment building. The 45,000 square foot, five-story building features 20 industrial design luxury apartment units and 7,500 square feet of street level retail space located in the heart of the downtown business and historic districts of Salisbury, in Wicomico County.

College Park City Hall

The College Park City Hall project is a unique joint venture between the City of College Park, the University of Maryland (UMD), and the Terrapin Development Company (TDC). Rather than simply renovate City Hall, the project team came together to acquire an entire city block of property. The resulting redevelopment is a 90,000 square foot building divided into three condominium units.

Frostburg City Hall / Police Station Renovation

The City of Frostburg re-purposed the old police station into the current police station and City Hall, located at 37 Broadway Street, in Frostburg. Since the city was operating two buildings that had significantly deferred maintenance and neither building was accessible to disabled persons, the redevelopment/rehabilitation of 37 Broadway enabled both City Hall and the Police Department to add modern, safe, and efficient office spaces. The new building features energy-efficient design components, all LED lighting, lighting occupancy centers, insulation, and energy efficient windows.

Fairland and Briggs Chaney Planning Area Scenarios (UMD Studio)

The Fall 2021 Community Planning Studio at the University of Maryland, College Park, conducted a planning analysis, which developed three planning scenarios for the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Planning Area located in eastern Montgomery County. Fairland and Briggs Chaney straddle the Route 29 corridor, a major regional transportation and commuter route linking to Howard County to the north.

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

For more information about the Maryland Sustainable Growth awards, please contact Chuck Boyd, Director of Planning Coordination, at

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