The partnership is recognized as focusing on sound transportation resources and business infrastructure, as well as being an advocate at the local, state and federal levels for policies, programs and projects that benefit the region.

While the partnership is acknowledged for supporting the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Arundel Mills, Fort Meade and the National Security Agency through its more overt activities, few in the community are aware of one of its quieter initiatives: The LDC Beautification Project.

Several years ago the Local Development Council of Anne Arundel County (LDC) identified the need to supplement the state’s and county’s efforts in combating trash accumulation on the roads surrounding Arundel Mills and Live! Casino & Hotel. Increasing numbers of travelers, shoppers and guests were driving up the litter, and sustained growth in the area depended on a positive overall experience, not only inside and immediately outside the venues, but in the area surrounding them.

The partnership has long played an active role in the regional transportation improvements benefiting the business potential of the region — which requires an understanding of the critical relationship between transportation and economic development, recruiting and retaining workforce and promoting the region to tourists. It is that understanding that allows the partnership to successfully support the BWI Business District, and ultimately led to its organic involvement in the beautification project.

Monday through Saturday, the partnership oversees a landscaping team that maintains the roads, median strips and exit ramps surrounding the mall and the hotel/casino. Litter is cleared, and signs are removed; weeds are treated, grass is mowed; and trees and shrubs are trimmed. The team plants and waters perennials and annuals.

"It is a rewarding project," said BWI Business Partnership COO Cate Sheehy, adding, "My family shops and eats at Arundel Mills all the time. Being able to focus on the experience we are having and not being jolted out of it by the sight of excessive trash or overgrown surroundings allows us to enjoy the experience that much more."

It furthermore allows the partnership to serve as the eyes and ears of the shopping district. An unusual accumulation of trash can indicate a larger problem that needs to be addressed. If the crew members witness an issue, altercation or something suspicious, they can alert the police.

It’s this extra effort that adds to the service being performed and subtly lends itself to the success of the region.

For more information, visit bwipartner.org.