The Dernogalizer

December 2, 2009

Can the University of Maryland afford to Relocate Facilities to the Hillock?

Filed under: environment,University of Maryland — Matt Dernoga @ 6:54 pm
Tags: ,

I don’t think they can.  This Diamondback article “Doubts Arise about Crucial East Campus Funding”, spells out the difficulty over the University of Maryland acquiring the necessary funds from governments to relocate the facilities.  They didn’t mention the fact that the original plan for relocating the facilities to the Hillock, has drawn concern many times over.  Nevermind the difficulty of getting the necessary funding from the state government, but that the stipulation for the $5 million dollars the state has already authorized, and the stipulation for continued funding involved approval by the College Park City Council.

“But a provision in the state budget mandates the university OK its spending plan with the City of College Park. Administrators have yet to approach the city about where it will direct the first $5 million dollars, and Vice President for Administrative Affairs Ann Wylie — the top official focusing on the project — said she didn’t know how the university will pay for the relocation costs FP-Argo planned to cover.”

It’s a good thing UMD for Clean Energy was been actively engaged with our City Council candidates over environmental issues during the recent elections.  See endorsements, our march to the polls, a reaction, and our recent presentation over tax breaks for green businesses.

Having spoken with the incoming City Council members on multiple occasions during the election and gauging their views, I can say with a high confidence that this city council will not agree to the relocation funding if it involves destruction of the Wooded Hillock.  I’m trying to use my imagination hard to see how the University gets around this, because they have an active one.



  1. Interesting how its so easy for folks to grasp the environmental harms of the loss of 9 acres but so hard for them the understand and advocate for the environmental gains of redeveloping a 38 acre brownfield site into a vibrant mixed-use, walkable community.

    Comment by David Daddio — December 4, 2009 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

    • Hey I read that earlier, you were kind enough to link to me Mr. Daddio. Both are legitimate environmental issues, unfortunately I’m a spoiled brat and would like to have the Hillock and East Campus at the same time. After all, the environmental gains of having East Campus would be greater if we also kept the trees.

      While I can’t speak for the other environmentalists who are committing time to saving the Hillock, I haven’t actually done a very good job of advocating for saving the 9 acres. As you note, there are many issues out there to advocate for, and not nearly enough time. My group UMD for Clean Energy has focused on what we personally considered to be more pressing issues to our mission statement. I wrote an op-ed for saving the Hillock last spring, made a few blog posts, and sat in on a meeting or two to understand the specifics of the issue, but that’s pretty much it. I just figured once it looked like the university might actually cut the thing down I should cause a little bit of trouble on my own personal time!

      Comment by Matt Dernoga — December 4, 2009 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

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