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Photo by Broadmead resident Erroll Hay

Sustainability at Broadmead

By Marsha Howes

Sustainability is defined as meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It is frequently linked to climate change, which can cause extreme weather, floods, and drought and alter the lifecycles of plants and animals. Climate change is a global phenomenon, one that people may feel helpless to impact. At the local level, however, an organization can make a difference by instituting sustainability policies.

Guided by the core value of being good stewards of Broadmead’s resources, the Board of Trustees approved the Broadmead Sustainability Policy on March 16, 2015. Broadmead’s charge is a commitment to protect its natural and built environment, to serve as a model of sustainability, to use and respect available resources, and to be mindful of the ways in which resources are used, with an eye to the long-term benefit of Broadmead and the world.

The policy is comprehensive and is intended to incorporate sustainable practices for all who live and work in the community. Policy areas include the built environment, materials, energy and emissions, procurement and consumption, water, code requirements, measurement, verification and assessment, and quality of life considerations.

Examples of sustainability practices in place at Broadmead include:

  • Use of natural light in new long-term care spaces and the Hillside Homes
  • Recycling of materials to reduce waste that goes to the Baltimore County landfill
  • Creation of rain gardens to control stormwater runoff
  • Use of non-toxic, green cleaning products
  • Installation of Star Energy appliances that are energy efficient
  • Purchase of food and services locally where possible
  • Planting of native or adapted species to create a diverse landscape that attracts wildlife and minimizes erosion and stormwater runoff

In April, the reconstituted Broadmead Sustainability Committee met to review current projects and to identify priorities. The committee is composed of Board of Trustees members Carol Currotto, Bruce Manger, and Kerry Zimmerman; staff members Dan Hall, Joyce Malone, and Jesse Russell; and residents Carel Hedlund, Marsha Howes, and Stan Wilson.

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