Partnership Leverages UMD Faculty & Students To Help Solve Local Government Policy Challenges; Currently Seeks County RFPs


The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) is an organization that offers local governments the assistance and technical expertise of University of Maryland faculty and students to address local sustainability issues related to business and economic development, land use, the environment, or social needs.  Counties and municipalities may submit a request for proposal (RFP) to PALS and if accepted, PALS and the University will create a series of coursework and projects built around the local government’s issue(s).

PALs Informational Flyer

PALS is currently seeking local government RFPs for the 2015/2016 term.  Proposals are due November 24.  From the PALS RFP Request Packet:

The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), administered by the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD), invites proposals from Maryland jurisdictions interested in partnering with the University in a program that pairs the sustainability-related projects of a local government with experienced faculty and courses from across the University of Maryland campus. The successful applicant will benefit from between 40,000 and 60,000 hours of work by UMD students and faculty from a variety of disciplines. The core of this request for proposals is the development of an annotated list of projects by the jurisdiction that aim to enhance a community’s quality of life, protect is resources and develop sustainable practices.

RFP Issue Date: October 20th, 2014

Pre-bid Meeting (call-ins allowed): November 5th, 10AM–11AM @ NCSG

Proposal Due Date 3:00 PM, November 24th, 2014 via e-mail (Electronic submission only): to

Notification of Interviews: December 1st, 2014

Interviews with top candidates: December 8th, 2014

Selection and notification: December 15th, 2014

Start of PALS process: January 5th, 2015

Beginning of Fall PALS courses: August 31st, 2015

For the 2014/2015 tern, PALS partnered with Frederick City to address a variety of City issues, such as: composting and organics recovery, a recreation plan for its waterways, promoting local businesses, and East Frederick industrial redevelopment.  Through PALS, the University is offering 30 courses involving 350 students drawn from 10 schools across the College Park campus to address Frederick City’s sustainability challenges.

PALS 2014/2015 Frederick Trifold