Partner Spotlight: City of Frederick Office of Sustainability

A sustainable city benefits everyone by providing better transportation, buildings, neighborhoods, parks, and healthy places to work and live.

We dedicate this month’s Partner Spotlight to everything Green and Sustainable. Meet the City of Frederick’s own Sustainability guru, Jenny Willoughby. We chatted with Jenny recently and she shared what her office is focused on and what she loves about her job.


Jenny Willoughby,

Frederick Office of Sustainability

Tell us about the basic services your position at The City of Frederick
that would be of interest to business owners and residents

I have so much I can share with your readers:

  • We’re working on implementing the Electric Vehicle Charging Plan, which will include public-private partnerships to help bring more charging stations to Frederick. We hope to bring some to our parking decks and we’d love it if our businesses offered more charging as well.

  • We’re going 100% renewable very soon and we’re always trying to upgrade street lighting to LEDs to save money, keep our streets safer, and reduce our carbon footprint. They ultimately make our spaces more inviting later into the evening.

acorn light 05.jpg

…upgrading street lighting to LED’s…

  • The Sustainability Department is working to perform energy audits on all facilities, ultimately reducing our carbon footprint and lowering costs.

  • Sustainability also handles the LEED and LEED-equivalent High Performance Buildings Tax Credits for the City, which is a great way for businesses to reduce their tax burden for a set amount of time after construction.

  • We are also leading the City’s stream restoration efforts by working with developers to set floodplain land aside specifically to reduce sediment loading in our waterways, provide habitat for critters, and ultimately a usable space for our residents.

  • Together with the City Parks Department and volunteer groups, more trees are being planted in open spaces and parks. This helps build the City’s tree canopy, reduce the impacts of urban heat island, and provide spaces for residents to recreate.


…the city’s tree canopy helps reduce impacts of urban heat island….

  • We’re partnering with Frederick Food Security Network and the Frederick County Food Council to help provide food access to folks in low-income areas that don’t have easy access to healthy and affordable food.

There are a lot of other things, but I think these are the ones that are most applicable to business folks.

Please share your favorite part of the job

My favorite part of the job is that I get to work on lots of projects at the same time, many of which take me out into the field. It’s a great day at the office if I go home with muddy boots.


“It’s a great day at the office if I go home with muddy boots”

Are there any new/recent programs or incentives offered through your office?

The High Performance Buildings Tax Credit offers tax credits for buildings that are LEED or equivalent certified and are granted as a percentage of the City’s property tax, determined by the performance rating of the building.

Tree Frederick is a program for homeowners to help them plant more trees through education.

Please share the primary way your office interacts with Frederick businesses?

I work with developers a lot on the front end of projects, specifically to protect waterways, encourage more tree planting, and reduce stormwater impacts. The Sustainability Department and the Sustainability Committee also partner with groups like Downtown Frederick Partnership to bring in funding for projects like the Terracycle cigarette butt recycling containers.

Partnerships between The City and Downtown Frederick Partnership make initiatives like the Terracycle cigarette butt recycling containers a reality.

Partnerships between The City and Downtown Frederick Partnership make initiatives like the Terracycle cigarette butt recycling containers a reality.

Are there any current trends in the green/sustainable movement
that we should know about?

The State of Maryland is moving toward a polystyrene foam ban, which will impact our restaurants, but ultimately be beneficial for our environment.

And finally…please click below to read our annual sustainability highlights report