SMITHSBURG, MD and BOONSBORO, MD News (11/1/2022) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced today two towns in Washington County and one town in Wicomico County have been named Maryland’s newest Sustainable Communities. With the addition of Boonsboro, Pittsville, and Smithsburg, the State of Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet has designated 126 Sustainable Communities across Maryland since the creation of the program in 2010. The Sustainable Communities program provides local governments with access to state programs, loans, grants and tax credits that can support brick and mortar community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism.
“Sustainable Community designations help Maryland’s diverse urban, suburban and rural communities connect with resources to support redevelopment and economic growth,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The program fosters partnerships that guide comprehensive strategies for environmentally, economically and socially responsible revitalization that responds to local needs.”
Town of Boonsboro (Washington County)
Located between Hagerstown and Frederick at the foot of South Mountain, the Town of Boonsboro was founded in 1792 by George and William Boone, cousins of Daniel Boone. Nearby sites including the National Road, Washington Monument State Park, South Mountain and Antietam National Battlefield, the town is a gateway to regional heritage tourism. Moments away from the C&O Canal Towpath, Harpers Ferry Historical Park and the Appalachian Trail, Boonsboro is also a popular rest spot for hikers. Local goals include implementing plans for stormwater management and park preservation, encouraging commercial growth and home rehabilitation, improving sidewalk connectivity, and providing more community activities and social service programming.
Town of Pittsville (Wicomico County)
Originally known as Derrickson’s Cross Roads and boasting a rich agricultural history, Pittsville is located just east of Salisbury in the heartland of Delmarva. The town was eventually named for Hilary R. Pitts, a local doctor and owner of the Wicomico & Pocomoke Railroad that transformed the community in the mid-19th century by linking freight and passengers to Salisbury and Ocean City. Local goals include upgrading stormwater management and wastewater treatment, expanding and improving green space, rehabilitating homes and providing façade improvements, and repairing and connecting sidewalks.
Town of Smithsburg (Washington County)
The town of Smithsburg was founded in 1813 by Christopher “Stuffle” Smith and incorporated in 1846. Smithsburg played a small but important role during the Civil War acting as a hospital town in 1862, treating wounded soldiers from nearby battles at South Mountain and Antietam, and, in the summer of 1863, it was the site of a minor battle in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. With history influenced by factors such as migration paths, the arrival of the railroad, and advances in agricultural technology, much of the existing village was erected by 1923 and still retains its mid-19th- to early 20th-century architectural character. Local goals include rehabilitation of commercial properties and housing stock, upgrading sidewalks, improving parks, and amending local zoning to allow new activities and uses for the town center.
To date, 126 Sustainable Communities have been designated. This includes four county-level designations, 118 municipalities and 59 unincorporated areas. They are as diverse as Frostburg in western Maryland, the Town of Ocean City on the Eastern Shore, unincorporated areas of Calvert County and large urban jurisdictions in central Maryland. For more information, visit the State of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities webpage.
Original article by State of Maryland