The National Association of Counties (NACo) has recognized Anne Arundel County with two Achievement Awards, honoring the County’s Food Access and COVID Care Warmline and the County’s stream and wetland restoration at The Preserve at Eisenhower Golf Course. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“The recognition from NACo underscores the great work our staff across the county accomplished despite the challenges of a global pandemic,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “Our Aging & Disabilities team and our Recreation and Parks and Department of Public Works staff substantially improved the quality of life for our residents with these projects, and are receiving well-deserved national recognition for their efforts.”
NACo recognized the county’s Food Access and COVID Care Warmline with an award in the Human Services category, and the county’s stream and wetland restoration at The Preserve at Eisenhower Golf Course with an award in the Parks and Recreation category.
“Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership,” NACo President Gary Moore said. “This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe, and vibrant communities across America.”
The Department of Aging & Disabilities launched the Food Access Warmline in June 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, it has evolved into the COVID Care Warmline, a central phone line where call-takers help residents access the resources they need.
Employees from various county departments have served as call takers and helped the county connect over 19,000 residents with eviction prevention services, mental health counseling, vaccination appointments, and other essential resources.
“I could not be more proud of this initiative, where all of the county government joined forces to address critical needs for our residents,” said Karrisa Gouin, Director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities. “We began this warmline at the beginning of the pandemic and evolved its purpose to meet the ever-changing needs of the public we serve, from resources to vaccine scheduling. We were present and ready to serve.”
The stream and wetland restoration project at The Preserve at Eisenhower Golf Course is the result of a partnership between the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration and the Department of Recreation and Parks. The renovation included over 13 acres of wetland creation and enhancement, 6,255 linear feet of stream restoration, and 1,343 linear feet of boardwalk to protect natural resource areas and allow floodplain connection.
“The project represents a model cooperation between the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Public Works to both create a top-flight experience for golfers on the course and to enhance and protect the natural resources on the site, providing critical habitat and improving downstream water quality,” said Erik Michelsen, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration.
The restoration work will prevent about 11,352 lbs/year of Total Suspended Soils from entering Broad Creek, protecting our county’s waterways while also providing drainage to the course so residents will have a more enjoyable golf experience.
“While golf is primarily an individual sport, The Preserve at Eisenhower Golf Course and Restoration project shows what great teamwork can accomplish,” said Jessica Leys, Director of the Department of Recreation and Parks. “By partnering with our Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration, we have restored a world-class public golf course while also restoring our environment. For this project, we truly used every club in the bag to go for the green.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.