Some of College Park's greatest assets are our green spaces, including excellent MNCPPC parks such as Lake Artemesia, Calvert Road Park, and Calvert Neighborhood Park; as well as city owned parks such as the Calvert Road School and the Calvert Hills and Old Town playgrounds, and the beautiful grounds of the University of Maryland. In addition to supporting our green spaces, the City has made a commendable commitment to our environment, including becoming a certified Maryland Sustainable Community, and has been working to reduce the City's carbon footprint through tree planting and purchasing hybrid city vehicles.
Though these efforts are laudable, the City of College Park can and should do more.
Stormwater management is a major environmental and quality of life concern in College Park. My street is at the bottom of a hill and is often inundated by stormwater during heavy rains, so I have experienced firsthand the impact of sub-optimal stormwater management on our community. I have fought hard for more than a decade to get the county to invest in needed stormwater infrastructure in Calvert Hills and Old Town, and anticipate construction to finally begin in early 2022.
Citywide hydrological analysis is needed to understand what additional investments are needed. If re-elected elected, I will fight to secure funding needed for a citywide hydrology assessment that can provide our city with information needed to advocate for improvements to our stormwater system throughout the city, including in the Guilford Run corridor.
Development in College Park should be focused on our several transit hubs, including the new Purple Line, and the City should work with private and governmental partners to promote greater use of transit. With greater proximity to transit, and incentives to use it, residents and workers in College Park could reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emission while enjoying our city's and our region's amenities by using public transportation.
It's time for curbside composting. A substantial portion of our city's solid waste consists of food scraps and other compostable items. Although our self-serve composting system is a good start, space limitations for centralized compost collecting make it impractical in all of our neighborhoods, and collecting and bringing composting to a centralized location can be a barrier to utilization. If elected, I will push for the city to rollout a citywide composting program for food waste, a local example of which is the City of Takoma Park.
Increased green building standards. Our current standard for new construction in the city is LEED silver certified. It's time to take the next step, and upgrade that standard to gold or platinum.
Limit and reverse loss of tree canopy. College Park's tree canopy has declined considerably over the past two decades, with much of that loss occurring on our residential property. If re-elected, I will advocate for a tree canopy preservation program that helps protect our canopy from unnecessary loss, while heavily incentivizing the planting of new canopy trees.