Groups Want A Green Town

BERLIN – Three local environmental organizations have banded together to promote land and water conservation in the town of Berlin and its environs, and together are seeking funding for a three-year collaboration on green projects in and around the town.

The green coalition plans to apply for funding from the Town Creek Foundation in early August and sought support from the town of Berlin to enhance the funding application.

“We are requesting a letter of support from the town,” Kate Patton, executive director of the Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT), told the Berlin Mayor and Council Monday night at their regular council meeting.

Patton’s organization is working with Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) to apply for money from the Town Creek Foundation, one of the biggest environmental funding sources in the Mid-Atlantic.

According to Patton, the Town Creek Foundation prefers to fund fewer but larger projects rather than many minor works.

“They’re looking at actually supporting a group of organizations so they’re looking at one project,” said Patton.

The three organizations realized that their geographical areas overlap and decided to work together to leverage more funds for a program in the Berlin area.

The coalition has already worked with the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore for funding to hire a consultant to develop the Berlin program.       

The organizations are not asking for any money from Berlin, simply support.

“That’s a no-brainer,” said Berlin Council member Paula Lynch. “You’re asking for our support, but it’s not going to cost us anything.”

The three-year project will take several approaches, and although the actions to be taken are still in the planning stages, the coalition offered several detailed goals, such as educating and engaging citizens on conservation and restoration; educating and engaging Berlin’s politicians and staff on environmental policy benefits and priorities; making an impact on land use, stormwater, and wastewater policy and actions; and building a sustainable movement among local citizens for environmentally sound practice and policy.

Projects might include rain garden or rain barrel projects with Berlin schools, or neighborhood green teams to promote and help with practical conservation projects from recycling to rain barrels, on the individual citizen and business level.

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