our history

The Beautification Committee is a volunteer organization.

Originally created and sponsored in 1960 by the Chamber of Commerce.  It was designated, by then County Commissioners to be an official part of the Prince George’s County Government in 1965, when members were appointed by the County Executive. Under the Chairmanship of Theodore (Ted) Miazga, members came from various County agencies including the County Landscape Architect, garden clubs, non-profits and interested members of the community- this is still the case. Our current chairman R. Calvert Steuart was appointed in 1978. The Department of Public Works and Transportation was the agency responsible for oversight of the programs developed by the Committee, which was dedicated to the protection of the environment and the preservation of Prince George’s County as a healthy and pleasant place to live and work.

The Early Days

In the early days, the emphasis was on a county-wide street tree planting program, working with Civic Associations and individual citizens. Within a few years, a resolution had been passed to require installation of street trees on all new County roads being built. By 1975, 40,000 trees had been planted- a considerable achievement and lasting legacy. Other early activities included the establishment of a Memorial Tree Program with M-NCPPC, leadership in countywide clean-up efforts and the passage of a Clean Lot Ordinance. The annual Beautification Awards Program was established in 1970. Every year since then, residents and landscape professionals have gathered at Newton White Mansion to celebrate countless efforts to beautify our County.

Traditions

The tradition of involving an entire elementary school in the official Prince George’s County Arbor Day began in 1985. Every year, the Beautification Committee and community volunteers went to a site to plant a tree with each class of students in the school. What began as a small affair grew to be an event involving the Neighborhood Design Center, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s Soil Conservation District and Prince George’s County Public Schools.