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Jul 24

Frederick County Joins STAR Communities!

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM by Lisa Orr

Frederick County has joined the national network of       STAR is a nonprofit whose mission is to "evaluate, improve, and certifycommunities to "achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for their residents."  STAR's Executive Director is Hilari Varnadore, who previously held the position of Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources with Frederick County Government.  County Executive Jan Gardner recently sat down with Hilari to discuss STAR and how it can help the County to measure its performance in key areas.  

Hilari shared STAR's 
"Leading Indicators" project, which is a set of 21 metrics for communities to measure, set goals with, and benchmark against other STAR participants.  These indicators include drinking water quality, housing and transportation costs, renewable energy electricity supply, total solid waste, and high school graduation rate.  The performance indicators are part of a community rating system that can lead to STAR certification.  

According to Hilari, “the rating system was built to help local leaders to determine ‘are our actions moving the needle on change in outcomes or conditions?” and that this translates to quality of life for citizens as well as community sustainability. 
 Executive Gardner said that she thinks “STAR Communities will help us to track our metrics and our goals across all of our county agencies, so we’re very excited to be able to get involved and become certified in STAR Communities.” Stay tuned as we work on this exciting project!