Story written by our Summer Intern Imani Lewis, a communications and public relations student at the University of Maryland.
Imagine this. A tightly knit neighborhood that participates in innovative and communal sustainability. You may think of this as some kind of “green utopia” when in fact it is a place that actually exists – Edmonston, Maryland, the home of Community Forklift (CF).
The town of Edmonston was founded by Capt. James Edmonston, an innovator in his own right and a son of prominent family in the Hyattsville area. Adam Plummer, a key town trailblazer, was the town’s first settler, a former slave to another prominent family, the Calverts.
When Plummer was freed, he bought land from Capt. Edmonston and used it to build a home for him, his wife, and their children after he bought them out of slavery (Plummer’s diary serves as the sole piece of writing by a slave during the Emancipation and is housed by the Smithsonian, learn more here).
After the Plummer family settled, more and more people began to move to the area. Edmonston grew rapidly and thrived. In 1924, the community of Edmonston became incorporated as a municipality.
As its founders were trailblazers, Edmonston’s officials were trailblazers as well. The first female Maryland mayor as well as the first Japanese American mayor (ever) served the town of Edmonston.
Edmonston’s Green Street
In recent years, Edmonston’s innovative attitude has been directed more to improving the town’s environmental impact.
In 2009, the community of Edmonston decided to begin construction on a “Green Street.” The goal was to implement green practices all along Decatur Street, a central road in Edmonston, to “make a positive contribution to [the] regional environment.” With the making of walking and biking lanes, installation of energy sufficient street lights, and construction of complex rainwater filtration systems, the town of Edmonston’s overall sustainability greatly increased. The Green Street was the first of its kind in Maryland and quite possibly the entire East coast. Its completion serves as a testament to Edmonston’s commitment to green innovation for the good of the community.
The CF Impact
With Edmonston being an area quite devoted to the idea of sustainable living and environmental responsibility, the presence of Community Forklift fits well within it. CF Sales Manager and Outreach & Education Representative, Ruthie Mundell, commented on the partnership between the town of Edmonston and CF. “Environmental actions cannot be sustainable unless they are also economically sustainable and accessible to all… We contribute [to the Edmonston community] by providing a place where residents and local tradespeople can donate or shop for reclaimed materials.”
The community leaders and CF work together to provide sustainable and reuse choices for all Edmonston residents in order to increase the environmental responsibility of the town and green innovation for its future.
Sources: The Town of Edmonston: History, Green Street Project – edmonstonmd.gov